Mati Ullah Khan
Will ever Pakistan succeed to pull itself out of never-ending controversies always hanging around within it? Time will tell, but the practice of implicating institutions in misadventures has already caused a lot of suffering to the people and Country’s fragile system.
Like, the one was recently observed following the emergence of Panamagate in April 2016. The intensity of its impact on Pakistan’s political system implied of what Justice Khosa said on April 20 that Panama verdict would be remembered till decades.
By and large, Panama controversy affected almost all spheres of life in Pakistan whether it’s about politics, economy or even society. Although it will probably remain arguable that to what extent, its impact has brought positivity or further caused deterioration of the Country’s governance system.
Politically if we talk about negativity, Panama episode let controversy-makers have another opportunity to play with people’s minds, and create doubts about Pakistan’s premier institutions. Since Panama issue required a trial; therefore, judiciary became the prime target and was accused of having served for hidden-hands (military establishment).
The ruling elite particularly the disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif endeavored to portray the Panama verdict as ‘conspiracy’ against civilian rulers of the Country. They argued that it was just another mode of kicking the prime ministers out of Office as previously army openly used to do it but now judiciary’s shoulders were used to fulfill the objective.
Such apprehensions though can’t be brushed aside as Nawaz Sharif fell prey to Supreme Court’s verdict in second consecutive disqualification following the removal of PPP’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in April 2012.
The Panama verdict also stirred a debate that whether 1973 Constitution is so resilient that even it can’t safeguard a prime minister. The debate was even further echoed when Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N suggested the removal of articles 62 and 32 through the Parliament.
The verdict once again took the Country on the verge of instability as snap polls wasn’t being ruled out, and demonstration and protest rallies had become a routine matter. But more importantly it once again didn’t let an elected prime minister to complete his tenure, which eventually also slowed down the development projects across the Country.
Throughout the Panama proceedings in the Supreme Court, the Country’s economic situation remained stagnant as uncertainty didn’t allow investors to launch projects and donors were reluctant to fund, thus overall economic situation of the Country continued to experience tentativeness.
As what Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said earlier this week, the Country’s economy suffered a loss of around $14 billion during the last three to four months due to the political situation.
However, Panama verdict also brought a sense of satisfaction among messes that rule of law prevails in the Country as even if a prime minister is caught red-handed while committed a crime, he can be indicted as well as removed from Office.
It also gave masses a hope that the process of accountability has, in true sense, begun in Pakistan, and the independent judiciary would now ensure that their basic rights are safeguarded and culprits wouldn’t be spared.
The verdict was alarming for all those who had opted corruption as part of their profession, and used to commit it without any fear or hesitation.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.