“The time has come” the Walrus said, ”to talk of many things” | Pakistan Today

 “The time has come” the Walrus said, ”to talk of many things”

PML-N vs PTI – PPP : of cabbages and kings

 

“The government would want more favourable ToRs. The opposition, on the other hand, wants the process limited to the Sharif’s and not have fingers pointed at them,” Political Analyst Ayesha Siddiqa said.

 

The issue of Panama leaks surfaced earlier this year when approximately 11.5 million leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, having offshore accounts in various tax havens around the world were made public.

The information from the Panama Papers is accessible on the site of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; one of around 100 news organisations and 300 journalists that took a shot at mining the information at the same time. More than 400 Pakistanis were mentioned with links to offshore accounts, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s heir Maryam, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz name for companies in the British Virgin Islands.

The opposition took advantage of this opportunity and with this the issue was highlighted to the next degree, getting excessive media coverage. Hence, in the wake of Panama probe and the accelerated agitation from anti-government parties, it was decided that a Terms of References (ToRs) should be formed to mutually resolve the issue. The ruling government and the opposing parties could not come to a mutual consensus, worsening the situation over a period of time.

Despite judicial proceedings, the matter could not be resolved as both the parties refused to accept all ToRs to probing into the matter.

“The government would want more favourable ToRs. The opposition, on the other hand, wants the process limited to the Sharif’s and not have fingers pointed at them,” Political Analyst Ayesha Siddiqa said.

Suddenly, amid the month of Ramzan and the PM’s cardiac surgery the issue lost coverage, not only for the ruling party but the opposition also put the issue on hold.

Today, the issue is back into the limelight with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has geared up, flexing their muscles tightening up the noose of the ruling government.

Analysing the past PTI time and again has bashed PML-N and put pressure on them from the sit-ins and marches. In the upcoming rally on August 7, negating the fact that an issue is already under investigation by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

In light of this, DNA contacted Information Secretary for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Mushaid Ullah Khan, to comment on the same.

“The offshore companies mentioned in the Panama leaks are legal,” he said.

“PM has no links to the offshore companies, but his children do and they have the ability to defend themselves in any judicial forum,” he added.

Coming from a business background, the Sharif’s have put in effort and ‘economic vision’ for infrastructure, roads, CPEC. “This is evidence of good leadership” added PML-N Spokesperson Siddiq ul Farooq.

Apart from PM heir’s name, there are many other politicians whose names have appeared in the Panama Papers which include, Imran Khan, Aleem Khan, Jahangir Tareen, Rehman Malik and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto among others.

“Why is it that only Nawaz Sharif is asked to be held accountable,” the Information Secretary added.

It has been witnessed that the anti-government parties have alleged the government for rigging elections, boosting corruption and blamed them for bad governance. But, judicial verdicts, PML-N sweeping the by-polls and the recent AJK success is a proof enough to argue further, Mushaid Ullah added.

Furthermore, PML-N Spokesperson Siddiq-ul-Farooq was of the opinion that, “PTI, PPP went to the ECP, Supreme Court (SC) and the Senate, despite approaching all these institutions now these parties are of the view that 10 million PTI followers and 20 million PPP followers will decide the matter on streets.”

“The right way to deal with such situation is to seek the court and wait for the judgement to be delivered and coming on roads is not an option,” he added.

Ayesha Siddiqa says, “Political parties are in a state of denial, they assume that everyone won’t be held accountable and the blame game continues.”

“The anti-government parties are using the opportunity of PM’s family’s name being appeared in the Panama Papers to the fullest with an aim to remove the PM from his seat,” she added.

Affecting Economy

PML-N’s Member of National Assembly (MNA) Pervaiz Malik spoke to DNA, “The opposition parties don’t want PML-N to be given a chance to be appreciated for their work done for the nation.”

Furthermore, the march is not the solution to the problem. The economy, tourism and development of the country suffered negatively. However, the MNA shed light on how the PML-N dealt with the matter, he says “The PM asked the joint opposition to come to the parliament and discuss TOR’s issue, the PM is not exempted from this, he is subjected to scrutiny.”

These protests don’t just affect the government, but the public at large. The everyday traffic jams and security gets frustrating. Considering this, the media plays an important role by covering these protests aligning with the public interest. However, media tends to go over the top sometimes and it needs to be limited in such cases.

“Opposition should join hands with the government, otherwise, the frequent protests won’t let Pakistan’s economy flourish,” the MNA added.

“Imran Khan is least interested in the economic progress of Pakistan and problems of people,” Siddiq ul Farooq  added.

What will PML-N do?

The previous protests, rallies, sit-ins have made people realise that a ‘Dharna’ is not the solution anymore. Dharnas have now become just another ‘musical concert’ for the people.

In that regards, Siddiq ul Farooq said, ‘They wanted to bring about ‘Tabdeeli’ (change) with the dharna’s, how did that go? PTI lost all seats in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections.”

“The opposition wants Nawaz Sharif’s to be held accountable on their terms,” Mushaid Ullah Khan said.

However, PML-N has always remained composed and handled crisis situations strategically and always dealt the matter on a parliament forum and have never taken the matter to the streets.

How is the public being affected?

These protests don’t just affect the government, but the public at large. The everyday traffic jams and security gets frustrating. Considering this, the media plays an important role by covering these protests aligning with the public interest.

However, media tends to go over the top sometimes and it needs to be limited in such cases.

“The media coverage should be limited,” Siddiq ul Farooq added.

“People need to realise that if the government reacts to these issues, the opposition will always hold it against them, by portraying the government as bad,” said Mushaid.

“No civilised country in the world holds protests like the political parties in Pakistan. If the government reacts with tough language, it will also create chaos and disrupt the law and order situation in the country,” Pervaiz Malik said.

“Thus, in the upcoming protest, strict actions will be taken politically and will be taken against those who will disrupt the law and order of the country.”

In that case, it will be dealt politically and they will face the music if things get extreme,” concluded Malik.

Saneela Jawad

The author is a former member of the staff. Her interests lie in culture, fashion and highlighting social injustices. She's also on a mission to end hunger with the initiative Tiffin Point. She tweets at @SaneelaJawad Email: [email protected]



Related posts

Top