Abandoning the confrontational path with the power circles and vote for the Army act was no doubt a surprising and bold decision of the PML-N. The party at least for now is paying a heavy price in the form of criticism from its social media sympathizers and, according to sources, also from within the party itself.
The PML-N top leadership, mainly Nawaz Sharif and Marriyam Nawaz, is for no logical reason has been silent even on the most crucial and sensitive issues Pakistan has been facing. This mysterious silence is not the beginning of a storm but beginning of an alleged understanding with the establishment. Now as long as they keep quiet, cases against the Sharifs will gradually become ineffective and before next general elections they will be given a level playing field in reward.
I will be very surprised if this is as simple as that mending fences with the establishment will set the party’s course to power yet again. Reportedly, the leadership has tried to convince the party stalwarts that reprograming the party from confrontation to reconciliation mode will reap rich political dividends in the near future.
Let’s wait and see when it happens and how it happens? But what is happening right now is the rising of political temperature between government and the opposition. Let me say both are back at square one after the passage of army act with a unanimous vote in the parliament. Bringing a soldier’s boot in a talk show by federal minister Faisal Vawda shows how far ministers can go against their political opponents. There is an impression, may be not true, that toning down their rhetoric and displaying a friendly posture was just a trap. On the contrary, there is another side of the story which says the opposition, particularly the PML-N, didn’t miss the opportunity and played quite opposite to the expectations of the PTI government. Political pundits believe by extending unconditional support to the army act amendment bill Nawaz Sharif has settled everything with the establishment in just one step and this is what boils the government’s blood pressure.
These were two sides of the story and as of yet we have no idea which one is true but as political opinion makers say politics is the art of possibilities and Nawaz Sharif has successfully made inroads to the power corridors (establishment) once again at the cost of what they believe is temporary criticism. The party big wigs are of the view that long term benefits would outweigh the short term losses. Here just for the sake of an argument let us suppose that what if things don’t happen the way PML-N is expecting?
Right now it would hard to answer this question but if experience does matter then it would be fair enough to say that the Sharifs must have deeply considered the pluses and minuses of their decision to roll back the path of confrontation – thus giving a strong message to the power centers that Subha ka bhola sham ko ghar a jaya to usay bhula nahi kehtay.