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PPP and PML-N: Two sides of the same coin?


News Analysis |

Former opposition leader in the National Assembly and a prominent leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Mr. Khursheed Shah has said that the recent decision against the former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif has proven the nexus between the government and National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He maintained that the selective accountability is not in the interest of the country.

Mr. Shah repeatedly said that Nawaz’s conviction was expected because of the existence of a nexus between the government and NAB. The ministers had also been mentioning his probable conviction in the corruption references, he added.

It is worth mentioning here that the ousted PM who had been facing various references filed by the NAB was recently awarded 7 years imprisonment and $25 million fine by an accountability court. Nawaz remained unable to furnish any money trail before the court which implies he was not able to justify the assets he and his family beyond the known sources.

Sources confirm that many opposition parties are in contact to jointly devise a policy in order to defeat the PTI-led accountability process.

Meanwhile, PPP Punjab Secretary Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, while speaking to journalists at Sukkur Airport, said that the joint investigation team’s (JIT) report in the money laundering case was a one-sided story and the accused should be given the chance to defend themselves because previously false allegations had been levelled against the party leaders.

He reportedly underlined that people are being held accountable to force them to switch loyalties or to stifle their voice. “Whoever surrenders is being forgiven and whosoever does not surrender then cases are registered against him,” he said. Analysts believe that since a JIT has found black money of former president Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, therefore, PPP is in hot waters.

Read more: PPP, PML-N in search of an NRO: Fawad

Interestingly, in a talk show on ARY news on the eve of Wednesday anchorperson, Sabir Shakir show the comments of PPP leaders including Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan, Sherry Rehman and Farhat Ullah Babar who were categorically admiring the report of the JIT which probed the Panama Papers saga. All these leaders demanded the resignation of the then premier and maintained the JIT had proven the corruption of three generations of Sharifs.

It is important to note that the same PPP is not willing to accept the report of the JIT which was formed by the same court of Pakistan. It is argued that since politics in Pakistan is family-centric it is, therefore, a trend that leaders are not only offered complete submission but also a free hand to do whatever they want to. Experts argue that family-oriented political parties do not allow democracy to get flourished.

Nawaz remained unable to furnish any money trail before the court which implies he was not able to justify the assets he and his family beyond the known sources.

For example, the whole PML-N and PPP are busy in protecting only a few individuals and are unable to address the grievances of common people. Moreover, PML-N and PPP have reportedly joined hands to defeat the current wave of accountability in Pakistan. Several politicians, bureaucrats and other public office holders are facing inquiries and charges by the NAB.

Read more: The death of PML-N and PPP

Sources confirm that many opposition parties are in contact to jointly devise a policy in order to defeat the PTI-led accountability process. Mr. Zardari and Mr. Sharif are said to be on the same page and intend to give a tough time to the PM.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the other hand, has made it clear many times that the NAB was working without any pressure and the government will only assist the watchdog. PM has also said that anyone found for misusing authority or taking bribe will not be forgiven. “There is zero tolerance on the matters related to corruption,” he has said.

Political commentators believe that the alliance among opposition parties against the sitting government is reflective of Pakistan’s non-democratic political culture where accountability of leaders is considered a taboo. PM Khan is determined to alter it.

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