Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s statement that there is no burden on his conscience is an eye-opener. He says categorically that he has not done anything wrong which means his conscience is clear.
Obviously it is no small a claim given the venom spread here and there without break by the Opposition leaders especially PTI’s Imran Khan whose ‘criticism mill’ is running three shifts a day i.e round the clock with his vocal activists churning out newer and newer points of criticism, nay condemnation. Just the other day, Fawad Chaudhry came up with another scam that of PML-N party’s expenditure in the last general elections to the tune of one billion rupees plus which the critics believe doesn’t match the genuine party income.
And Babar Awan has rather gone to the farthest end by demanding fresh elections oblivious to the fact that the fulfillment of such an emotional demand can lead to a cumbersome exercise in the electoral politics with additional burden on the public exchequer amounting to billions of rupees.
Even otherwise, the major political parties including the signatories to Charter of Democracy had arrived at the agreement that whatever the political differences and animosities of the past, the parties would strive in all earnest to ensure that democracy is not allowed to derail at the hands of adventurers from the non-democratic set-ups. Obviously it means continuity of a democratically elected government till the time its mandate/term expires.
Now once again suggestions are coming which only mean ‘putting the clock back’ and turning the wheel of democracy full circle in an adverse manner.
This must not happen. The smooth transition process must continue gracefully and tolerantly and no short-cuts to PM Office must either be planned or desired, publicly or in private.
Luckily, this smooth transition process enjoyed complete support of the national institutions during the previous tenure of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani (after court’s sentence albeit till the rising of the court, PM Gillani was smoothly replaced by PM Raja Pervez Ashraf). It was an achievement of both the democratic forces and the national institutions.
Now again there is urgent need for that spirit to prevail. It doesn’t mean giving undue favour to any political figurehead. It only means giving favour to democracy or to the smooth transition of power.
And, of course, there is no harm in giving benefit of doubt to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s solemn declaration that his conscience is clear or that there is no burden on his conscience as he has not done anything wrong.