The ifs and the buts finally made an entry as the good grace that had been observed in the wake of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s deteriorating health was finally put to rest by Imran Khan.
The PTI chairman on Thursday blasted Nawaz Sharif for using his wife’s illness to “emotionally blackmail people.”
“All of our hearts are with Kulsoom Nawaz. My mother had cancer too, but this is no excuse to emotionally blackmail the nation” he said.
When the former first lady had first fallen ill, it had been heartening to see the unconditional messages of support from across the political chasm. There were no ifs and buts. With this latest statement, that ship has sailed, and Imran’s cadre can be expected to fall in line quick.
That the verdict will be delayed as per Mian Nawaz’s wishes is an unlikely scenario, and we will have our decision on Friday. Even the application for a delay submitted by Mian Nawaz’s counsel has asked for one-week, meaning the decision will be out well before July 25.
But Imran is still feeling the heat, and the frustration emanating from just the possibility of a delay is palpable in him and the entire country. Delay it by a month or just a day, the nation seems to want to get this over with.
The PML-N’s manifesto was released in Lahore at a ceremony headed by party President Shehbaz Sharif but dominated by absent party Quaid Nawaz Sharif. ‘Vote ko izzat do’ has been officially entrenched in the League’s doctrine as its tagline for the elections. Mian Nawaz’s message had talk of ‘khalai makhlooq’ and just a little bit more of ‘mujhay kyun nikala.’ In the current political scenario, the PML-N’s manifesto is perhaps more ideological than that of the PPP and presents a bigger decision of conscience. The bits about development are the same stuff about ending poverty, the water crisis, all human suffering and other vague promises through even vaguer plans. Nobody really gets into that stuff anyway.
It seems that all the disqualifying that was going on was for naught. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Fawad Chauhdhry have irrevocably been exonerated by the LHC. In Balochistan, the candidature of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s grandson and the PTI’s provincial head were allowed. Other than a few anomalies, all of the people shown the door by ROs have been restored to the ballot. But hey, it was fun for the ROs while it lasted.
SCORE FOR MINORITIES:
For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a Hindu woman is set to contest for a general seat. She will be hoping to emulate the historic feat achieved by the first female Hindu senator earlier this year.
At the same time, the CJP has ordered that transgenders be given CNICs within 15 days – meaning they will be able to vote.
SIGHS IN THE WIND:
The ECP has called in retired government servants to serve on election day. Fearing for their pensions, these duty-bound retirees will come out and do the drudgery. But if you listen carefully, you can just here a collective groan out there somewhere.