LAHORE - No court has thought it fit to take a suo motu notice of the issue of offshore companies reportedly owned by the two sons and a daughter of the prime minister. In the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency it’s the business as usual. There is not even a remote possibility of the prime minister stepping down as he doesn’t want to set any ‘unhealthy’ precedent for his successors.

This is the system the rulers have given the country after decades of their political experience. And this is certainly the biggest failure of the party in power and the ones that ruled the country in the past.

Had there been an efficient system in place, the law would have taken its course automatically after the surfacing of such serious allegations against the prime minister’s family.

Still more unfortunate is the fact that no lawyer (and there is no dearth of capable lawyers in the country) has moved any court to force the ruling family to disclose the sources of their money abroad or bring it back to Pakistan, as suggested by a wife of the prime minister’s brother. Lawyers who miss no opportunity of getting publicity by taking even frivolous petitions to courts in the name of public interest have also failed to do anything in this regard.

The NAB and FIA can argue that when courts did not take a suo motu notice of such an important issue, they too can’t take a risky path of starting proceedings against the ruling family. And the army under the leadership of Gen Raheel doesn’t want to transgress its limits, no matter what the situation.

If all state institutions remain unmoved, political parties get a free hand to do whatever they want or can.

Compared to other parties Imran Khan is in a better position to play a role. Already he wants to establish himself as the real opposition leader, leaving the PPP behind. He is calling upon the prime minister to step down and set a judicial commission under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan. As of now the government is in no mood to accept the demand.

In an attempt to win the hearts and minds of people, the PTI chief plans to stage a big show in Islamabad – in F-9 or elsewhere depending upon the situation – on the party’s founding day. Imran Khan has also indicated that he will hold an all-party conference to work out a joint line of action against the government. His party would stage a sit-in outside the Raiwind palaces of the Sharifs.

These plans may appear to be very popular but at the same time their success will be a real challenge for the cricketer-turned-politician.

The PTI, accompanied by its ‘political cousin’ Pakistan Awami Tehrik, had staged a 126-day sit-in in Islamabad in 2014. The initiative had failed to pull down the government, which was the major target. And if the Army Public School tragedy had not taken place, the PTI would not have had even a face-saver to wind up the show.

In the changed situation, will any party stand by Imran Khan this time? It is very difficult for anyone to offer a definite answer to this question. The reason is that parties can change their decisions any time to serve their personal interests. They don’t hesitate even to stab their allies in the back.

So, the question is whether the PTI will single-handedly be able to mount enough pressure on the government to have its demands met? If not, will a new sit-in only help the rulers?

As things stand, the PTI can trust the PPP at its own risk. Imran Khan knows well that until recently the PPP leaders were raising “Go Nawaz go” slogans. But now that Panama leaks have exposed the offshore companies of the prime minister’s family, former interior minister Rehman Malik has been quoted as saying that resignation is no longer his party’s demand. Also, in an article a couple of days ago, a PPP media team member said: PPP’s primacy democracy not “Leaks”. (Everyone knows that there is no threat to democracy).

Parties like the PAT, the PML-Q and Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen that had participated in the 2014 sit-in are no longer with the PTI for various reasons.

The ANP and the MQM are the ‘sworn enemies’ of the PTI.

The religious parties are divided. The JUI-F and the Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith are allies of the PML-N and would not support the PTI’s plans, no matter what their public utterances.

The Jamaat-i-Islami and the one-man party of Sheikh Rashid are the only allies the PTI chairman can rely upon.

But what if the PTI could not mount enough pressure on the prime minister to meet its demands? That will be counterproductive for the country. Let’s see how the political parties save the country from a new crisis without giving any one of the 200 people mentioned in the Panama Papers an opportunity to digest the ill-gotten money.