Nawaz Sharif tees-up for disaster
There is uncertainty in the country. Khaqan Abbasi has been appointed the new Prime Minister but there is no guarantee that he will retain his office if Kalsoom Nawaz is elected next month from NA-20. Decisions about a permanent Prime Minister, PML-N chief and candidate for NA-120 have been made only to be reversed within days. Finance Minister Dar, who was the most powerful cabinet member after the Prime Minister, has been made to relinquish the chair of a number of major committees. Important cabinet ministers choose to attend daily meetings presided over by Nawaz Sharif to plan future rallies or discuss the strategy to win NA-120 giving little time to their ministerial duties.
The new cabinet faces a dilemma. While it is required to administer the country, Nawaz Sharif wants it to play the role of the opposition. Abbasi is keen to prove that he can manage the country and look after the economy. He has thus taken over the key Economic Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) from Ishaq Dar. Abbasi has also emphasised the need to strengthen institutions. However being a party loyalist he is required to defend some of the indefensible remarks by Nawaz Sharif. It remains to be seen how long he can run with the hares and hunt with the dogs.
The country faces an aggressive India, a hostile Afghanistan and a demanding US. The situation requires a cohesion between all state institutions and the government. After conducting a four day long rally Nawaz Sharif is planning other misadventures of the sort. In case he continues to malign the five Supreme Court judges and target the army things might turn up to be really nasty. A government can differ with institutions but has to press its point of view in closed door meetings instead of rousing the mobs against them. Statesmanship requires that Nawaz Sharif calls off the schedule of rallies till the elections are announced meanwhile pursuing his petitions in the Supreme Court.