Posted on 11 months ago
The apex court has declared the office of the prime minister vacant. And Gilani must bow down before this verdict. Indeed, ever since his court conviction for contempt on April 26, his incumbency had been in dispute, causing great political turmoil and keeping the state virtually in limbo. He still may have legal avenues open to him to seek relief to his disqualification.
But in the larger national interests he should better quit and pursue his cause as a private citizen. For not filing any appeal since his contempt conviction, the apex court has ruled he stands disqualified as member of the parliament as well. As such, he has on his hand a long legal battle. And the nation certainly cannot afford a perpetual spell of uncertainty, particularly at this point in time when it is so fragilely enmeshed in a multiplicity of dire adversities and menacing challenges.
The apex court has ordered the president "to take necessary steps under the constitution to ensure continuation of the democratic process through the parliamentary system of government in the country". In simple plain language that simply means the election of a new prime minister. And it indeed would be in the best interest of even the ruling coalition to have a new face in the prime minister's office, rather than keep sticking on to the old one that inevitably would embroil it in wholly uncalled-for institutional confrontations and unending political fracas and consequent baneful turbulence of multiple dimensions.
The adversarial political formations too must hold their horses and eschew from extracting any political mileage from the court verdict. The woeful predicament the country presently is in just admits of no political brinkmanship or adventurism. That is too dangerous. The nation is in no position at all to bear any kind of unnatural tremors or tempests. Indeed, the plethora of problems that have sprung up following Gilani's disqualification as prime minister would test the political clans for their sagacity, wisdom and sobriety.
As for one, the legality of the administrative, financial and other miscellaneous official decisions and measures taken by his government since his contempt conviction will have to be resolved in a manner that neither it spawns an administrative chaos nor culminates into a big political crisis. The nation would certainly do without these two scourges, and the various political formations have to play their role in this to keep the nation secure from their blight. Furthermore, the existence of his ministerial cabinet too is now open to question for its legality, and the issue has to be brought to a reasonable and acceptable denouement.
By every reckoning, the next few days are very crucial for the country and the nation. And it is the political leadership across the board which can steer both safely ashore. Any misstep could potentially plunge the polity into a turbulence from which it would be hard to salvage unscathed eventually. And no political clan would be a beneficiary, either. All will suffer, unexceptionably and immensely. Hence one hope sense and sanity will prevail all around. And the nation's greater interests will weigh heavy with them all.
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