Monday, July 3, 2017

Pakistan - Panic in the PML-N

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has to quiz Hussain and Hassan Nawaz once again and then question Maryam Nawaz. It will then finalise its report which is to be presented before the three-member Supreme Court Bench on July 10. The court will take the final decision after going through the report which will take some time. The three member bench might decide to call some of the persons who have been interrogated. It is therefore premature to make any prediction about the verdict which might take weeks or months to come.
The PML-N which had declared victory when the Panama case judgment was announced on April 20 however developed cold feet as the Joint Interrogation Team (JIT) started quizzing the Sharif family members. Its worries increased with accusations of certain institutions having tempered with records and even forged them. The failure on the part of the Qatari prince to appear before the JIT added further to the party leaders woes. So did the probe into the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case. What Khawaja Saad Rafique said the other day, indicated that the PML-N feared some sort of conspiracy was afoot to impose a minus one formula. While still reposing confidence in the army leadership the Railways Minister had reservations about the JIT and by implication the three member Supreme Court bench.
The PML-N leadership will have to blame itself in case it was to meet any disaster. The leadership’s hubris stood in the way of resolving the Panama case inside the Parliament. The PML-N reps shot down proposals advanced by the Opposition in the joint parliamentary committee appointed to formulate the ToRs. Nawaz Sharif gave little importance to National Assembly and rarely attended its sessions. His cabinet members and party MNAs followed in his footsteps. The Parliament consequently failed to evolve an independent and viable accountability mechanism. By failing to perform its job, the Parliament abandoned its turf to un-elected institutions who now call the shots.

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