Syed Ali Zia Jaffery |
Regardless of the intricacies and nuances of the law, the head of the government Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif must resign to uphold the essence and principles of democracy.
The report submitted by the Joint Investigation Team(JIT) to the apex court regarding the infamously famous Panama Case has become the talk of the town.Despite some aberrations, the report encompasses some scathing, serious and pointed allegations against the premier and his family.
The references to the Chief Executive point towards him having lied, concocted and misused the power of his office.Irrespective of the future of the case and its proceedings, a democratic polity cannot function under a PM who is involved in defending himself from these grave accusations.
The panacea is simple: resign; appoint someone from the PML-N as PM; fight; clear your name and come back. Though, henchmen are suggesting the PM to stay firm, little do they realize that by not stepping aside the PM may go on to damage his case and democracy.
Here it is important to state that resigning is not undemocratic.If anything, it is perfectly commensurate with the spirit of democracy as it lends credibility to the process of accountability. The resignation will also give an impression that the PM is convinced that only he is clean but also that he still enjoys the mandate of the people. The PM can do himself and his Democratic credentials a world of good if he relinquishes and vindicates himself as a private citizen. He may return triumphantly and take down opponents and other “hidden forces” with this one single yet highly improbable act.
Sticking on would not exude confidence on part of the ruling party.It will also give a teeth to those who deem the defense campaign nothing more than saving Mr Sharif in the garb of democracy.
Despite hue and cry from his party shills, it is evident that the Panama Papers were not part of a grand international conspiracy against the all-powerful Nawaz Sharif. It is also clear that the Sharif family could neither mollify the apex court nor the JIT; their defense was frail.
The PM has to spend his energy and time on putting up a strong defense in the courts but as a private citizen. The government and the state for that matter cannot afford a PM pre-occupied with his personal case as it leaves him pressed for time and authority to grapple with the very many threats faced by the country.
The PM has, in all earnestness lost the moral authority to rule. The legal one is also dubious ever since he took over the reins for the third time.
His envoys are doing him a disservice till now. All is not well if we put it mildly.If history is anything to go by, then much of the political suicides committed by Nawaz were on behest of his detachment from all that was veritable, to say the least.Once bitten twice shy, this idiom should encapsulate what needs to be done.
It is hence prudent for the PM to hang boots if he wishes to reestablish his authority; fight intrigues and emerge as the face of democracy in Pakistan.
Syed Ali Zia Jaffery is a Research Analyst and Sub Editor at Global Village Space.He frequently writes on defense and strategic affairs. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.