Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Panama Verdict and Democracy

BY : Shujaat Kamal

Supreme Court of Pakistan gave the much-awaited verdict on 28 July on Panama Leak case. The five member larger bench unanimously disqualified Prime Minister  Nawaz Sharif for life time. Nawas and his party members have been making tall claims of accepting SC’s verdict in any case before it was announced and have also been advising PTI to go to court against Nawaz if they really want something better for Pakistan and democracy. Imran Khan, on the other hand, rolled back his decision of locking the capital down and observed a ‘thankful day’ when SC bench was formed. Three of the five honorable judges opted to go further investigation by forming joint investigation team-JIT. No objections were raised on forming JIT at the beginning by the ruling party PML-N. Six member JIT when started summoning the accused personalities for investigation, objections started against JIT members by PML-N. Specially Khawaja Asif, Saad Rafique, Danial Aziz and many others were among those outbursted . Facing all hurdles and pressures JIT bravely completed its task within the given time by SC and presented the report to SC of Pakistan. Supreme Court in a brief, emphatic and unanimous Judgment stripped Nawas Sharif of Prime ministership. The specific reason for the judgment is being debated intensely all over the country. Ex. PM Nawaz was trying to hide the chairmanship of capital FZE company of Dubai. PML-N choose the right path by accepting the court verdict expressing strong reservations. Khaqan Abbasi sworn in as new PM of Pakistan. Individuals are not important but the democratic machinery should be running. Institutions must avoid confrontation. Every Democratic unit should be given an opportunity to move on from this damaging political episode. It’s mainly up to the ruling party to protect the overall democratic process in the country. Undoubtedly PTI has gained much out of it. Whatever the disagreement with the way of PTI’s politics, if it were not the relentless campaign of Imran Khan and his party, the accountability of the elected officials would not have been possible in the political discourse of the country. It’s a political blow for PML-N and how the party comes out of this situation for the time ahead, this is a big question in the national political arena. The court gave its judgment in the constitutional domain so the democratic parties should avoid any criticism of the judgment that may lead to institutional confrontation. Democracy must not be derailed in any circumstances.