Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, disqualified by the Supreme Court, for practices detrimental to his office had to, in addition, relinquish Party Leadership in accordance with law. Weeks later, in a bizarre drama staged at the Convention Center in Islamabad, Mr. Nawaz Sharif was restored to Party Office, following the passing of a bill that paved the way for this to happen. The bill and the way it was engineered through both Houses will forever remain etched in our national history as a shameful act, where morality and ethics were perversely trampled to benefit one individual. Even our President, who gives remarkably lucid sermons on character here and there, took little time in penning his approval to the legislation, making it law on the very morning Mr. Sharif was re-elected, unopposed, as Head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Two noticeable things happened during the Convention Center proceedings. One was the abrupt departure of the former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar from the venue; and second, an admission by Mr. Shahbaz Sharif to the effect that they had been misled by the group of current advisors and that in future, they would prefer advice from senior individuals.

Chaudhry Nisar’s departure may be good grist for sensational newsmakers, but I have seen him come and go so many times that it does not generate notions anymore. Shahbaz Sharif’s words however, were of interest. It would be wrong or even premature for people to assume that this was a manifestation of the oft reported ‘faults’ within the Sharif Family. While one cannot deny that a simmering intra-family conflict does exist, the younger Sharif is too canny to display it in a forum such as the re-election ceremony of his brother. The words were in all probability carefully deliberated and designed to build the Party’s image as a self-accountable and democratic entity, where people had the right to criticize their own cadres. This may have also been a message to sooth any rising tempers amongst the institutions that have been on the receiving end of Sharif and Company’s unbridled tongues.

That an understanding has been reached between Mr. Nawaz Sharif and Mr. Zardari is also becoming clear from the good words that were said about Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto from the rostrum. Mr. Zardari has overtime become a master of the political chess board and does not mind ‘piggy backing’ PML-N since his own party is in a state of complete shambles. As time goes by, the aforementioned ‘understanding’ will manifest itself clearly, especially when more bills are presented on the Parliament Floor. Credible reports say that these bills are in the pipeline and include laws that render the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ineffective, curb the independence of Apex Judiciary and dilute the powers of the military. The passing of these bills and their ratification by the President into law, would extend the writ of a corrupt Parliament, to the great detriment of national security.

I have no hesitation in saying that our Parliament is regrettably corrupt, since this pillar of state represents the collective character of its members and no Pakistani in his right mind can deny that the overwhelming majority of those who occupy legislative seats are an epitome of corruption, nepotism and self-centricity. When our disqualified PM and his cronies say that they represent twenty crore Pakistanis, they are not only lying, but insulting the intelligence of millions of fellow citizens. The Ruling Party does not represent the entire population of Pakistan, but a mere fraction that happened to be in majority when the 2013 ballot papers were counted.

It is said that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. In our present situation, the end of the tunnel leads to the Supreme Court, whose honorable members of the bench are sure to be watching events with great care and concern. They must also be cognizant of the threat that ongoing legislative shenanigans pose to their institution and that they will be the last bastion of hope for this nation. It is this thought that gives comfort to patriotic Pakistanis.