Don’t count the chickens before they’re hatched
The ongoing debate on post Nawaz Sharif scenario is somewhat premature. It is being assumed that mass desertions would take place in the PML-N once Nawaz Sharif is disqualified. . Certain gestures on the part of Ch Nisar have led some to conclude that the Interior Minister would be the first one to resign and the floodgates of defections would open soon after. Foremost among those painting the scenario are important leaders of the PTI and PMLQ.
Ch Nisar has remained uncharacteristically silent while PMLN leaders cried themselves hoarse outside the Federal Judicial Academy pointing out day after day the flaws in the working of the JIT and the conspiracies being hatched against the PML-N government. The Interior minister put up a brief appearance at the cabinet meeting to deliver a sour speech. He absented himself from the meeting of the PML-N’s parliamentarians called to express confidence in Nawaz Sharif. Later he reacted sharply to the remarks by Ahsan Iqbal. But there was nothing out of character in all this. The self-righteous and spiky Interior Minister has acted similarly during the last four years without being disloyal to the party.
The presence of several turncoats in the PML-N makes the PTI and others confident that they would jump ship again once the Prime Minister was disqualified. Some expect as many as 100 resignations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. A number of party legislators ‘suspected of changing their loyalties’ assured Rana Sanaullah recently that they remain loyal to Nawaz Sharif. The reiteration of allegiance would be put to test after the Supreme Court verdict. What is different this time is that unlike 1999 there would be a PMLN government in place with none using coercive means to change the legislators’ loyalties. As far as the PMLN’s claims of a rise in the party’s popularity on account of its development schemes are concerned these will be tested in the 2018 elections.