Three time’s the charm: What the premier’s dismissal means for Pakistan

The apex court of Pakistan, the supreme court, recently issued its decision regarding Pakistan’s (now former) Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, ruling that, in accordance with the articles 62 and 63 of Pakistan’s constitution, the premier ought to be disqualified from the National Assembly and must immediately step down.

It is not apt for now, for this forum, or for this time for me to render my opinion regarding this pressing development, so I will refrain from any partisan statements. In fact, I personally know too little about the legislative system prevalent in Pakistan to actually delineate my thoughts regarding the recent Panamagate case decision, and it certainly is not of my ilk to comment on the legal aspects of this decision.

However, what definitely does concern me and many others around me is the state of hardcore disarray in which Pakistan currently stands. In the aftermath of the recent decision, Pakistan stands bereft of not only a Prime Minister but also of a cabinet of ministers and the like that is crucial to the efficacious functioning of the country. Reprisals abound, there has been a slate of protests all over the country, remonstrating the recent decision and going even insofar as to term the decision “undemocratic.” But as with regards to any decision, this outburst of opposition and infuriating streaks of anger are not an anomaly. What is an anomaly, however, is the fact and the grave realisation that in Pakistan’s history, no Prime Minister who has ever stepped foot on the position, in his capacity as a civilian-elected Prime Minister, has completed his or her full 5-year term. That has meant, and continues to mean, that many multinational projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic corridor, the CPEC, face bleak odds of actually spurring to fruition amidst the uncertain stock rates and political fisticuffs befalling the nation.

Many of his proponents are proclaiming Nawaz Sharif to be merely a delinquent premier who, owing to a minute judgmental error, failed to declare an income-receivable account that ought to have been declared in the 2013 nomination papers that Nawaz Sharif submitted. On the contrary, the opposing party and its perpetrators contest this very notion, snapping that concealment of assets is in fact a very significant crime, and one that should definitely end up in a criminal sentence against Nawaz Sharif. However, regardless of whichever side you or I choose to sway toward, we must not forget that in these times of uncertainty and political unrest, when we wake up to and sleep over news broadcasts relaying schools of acrimonious and snide remarks from both the parties, we must stand in harmony even if only for the wholehearted sake of our country’s progression.

According to a vast many, the gears of time and history have wounded the democratic nation that Pakistan was initially meant to be: from Ayub Khan to Pervez Musharraf, the military, according to the dissenters of the recent court ruling, has always jolted awake in times of political unrest. While that may deeply have been in Pakistan’s favour, the pro-military sentiment, according to the dissidents, has scarred the very fabric of democracy, freedom of speech, and liberty that Pakistan ought to espouse.

However, even keeping all of the aforesaid points in view, what I can assure you and myself of is that although Pakistan has in the past struggled and continues to struggle against such political schisms, it has always emerged stronger, bolder and fiercer, after overcoming such uncertainties. Whatever the imminent political fate of Pakistan might be, we stand united in these times of utter volatility and vow to direct our efforts not toward any superfluous contentions, but instead towards contributing to fortifying our country in the midst of such unrest, and towards impelling our country in the realms of success and prosperity.

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