In every election since 1990, Syed Khurshid Shah has been returning to the National Assembly from one of its seats in Sukkur. He is a polite and friendly type and has cultivated many friends, even among diehard critics and opponents of Pakistan People Party.

As a result all look genuinely upset with his arrest by NAB Wednesday, although whispers about his arrest had been in circulation for more than two months.

At the outset of Thursday sitting, Raja Pervez Ashraf, a former prime minister, stood to protest against Shah’s arrest. Nawab Yusuf Talpur followed him. PPP was not alone in expressing their anger.

Almost each member from the PML-N benches also kept pressing buttons to seek the chair’s attention. But Qasim Suri, the deputy speaker, turned stern. He firmly believed that more than the deserving time was consumed in discussing the arrest of Khurshid Shah. It was time to deal with agenda set for the day. The opposition remained unwilling to let him proceed.

What really provoked the opposition to act insolent in an already deeply polarized house was the speech, Murad Saeed, the youthful minister of communication, had delivered over the matter.

With self-righteous anger, the unforgiving minister looked amused with opposition’s expression of sympathy and solidarity with Khurshid Shah. In sadistic binge he kept questioning the upward mobility of the arrested MNA and kept referring to his relatively humble origins with contemptuous mocking.

Through the speech of Murad Saeed, the PTI government also sounded as if firmly conveying the message that “looters and plunderers” faking as “politicians and people’s representatives” could not be forgiven. NAB is an autonomous outfit anyway and the Imran government does not feel motivated to rein it.

Perhaps the government felt the need of reiterating its corruption-fighting resolve in the context of “hopes” that Shehbaz Sharif’s meeting with his elder brother in jail, thanks to “special permission, had triggered among the opposition parties early this week.

To scuttle these hopes, the Prime Minister has also begun to repeatedly assert of late that the corrupt-types in the opposition parties must not expect any mercy from him.

They should forget that increasing tensions with India since August 5, might force the government to seek some reconciliation with its opponents in the name of cementing “national unity.” Ruthless accountability of “the looters and plunderers” will continue unabated.

The arrest of Syed Khurshid Shah has also forced the PPP to now get ready for definite nabbing of Murad Ali Shah. After the expected arrest, the Chief Minister of Sindh will have to vacate his office.

Conspiratorial whispers in Islamabad continue to claim that the federal government has a precise plan to install such a person as the chief minister of Sindh after the exit of Murad Ali Shah, who would not require the approval of Asif Ali Zardari and the need to seek his guidance for running the provincial government.

If you only consider the visible numbers in the Sindh Assembly, propping an alternative to Murad Ali Shah does not look plausible, if the government disregards the choice and preferences of Asif Ali Zardari.

But visible numbers also appeared clearly favoring the opposition when it attempted to remove Sadiq Sanjrani from the office of Chairman Senate, by moving a vote of no confidence against him.

Not less than 15 opposition senators changed their mind while stamping the ballot, hardly a few minutes after standing in favor of the motion tabled against him.

One can still presume that the government was able to protect Sanjrani while taking advantage of the secret balloting. But the chief minister of a province gets elected to his office through clear division in the house. His or her supporters have to formally record their vote as well.

After the induction of 18th amendment in our constitution, floor crossing has become extremely difficult. But the PTI handlers of the political scene strongly feel that their devotion to good governance and fighting corruption has furnished ample space for them to execute plans, not looking doable at first look.

It is too early to imagine and commit the scene that may surface after the anticipated arrest of Murad Ali Shah. But the arrest of Khurshid Shah has definitely deepened the dilemma Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is already facing since the arrest of his father and aunt.

The youthful chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party had started his parliamentary career with the election of 2018. He seriously believed that the political system in Pakistan had solidified its “democratic roots.” Constitutional and legal guarantees were clearly available for sustaining them.

Trusting “the system,” he got himself elected as Chairman of the National Assembly committee that monitors the state of human rights in Pakistan.

His heading the said committee did not empower him to do the needful, though. His fierce and consistent demand for the presence of arrested members of the National Assembly in house proceedings didn’t help even one MNA, including his father.

In spite of visibly failing to protect “legally available” space for members of the National Assembly, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is yet not willing to join the march that Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the JUI-F has planned to stage in Islamabad, someday after mid-October. He seriously fears that the intended march can lead to absolute collapse of whatever is left of the “democratic system.”

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will definitely be forced to have second thoughts regarding his resolve of adjusting to the given. Perhaps he is willing to live with the expected arrest of Murad Ali Shah as well. But he may find it almost impossible to reconcile with the scene where Murad Ali Shah is replaced with a person, selected while bypassing him and Asif Ali Zardari.

The aggressive and unforgiving speech of Murad Saeed in the National Assembly Thursday would also weaken voices from within the PML-N, still wanting Nawaz Sharif to agree to a “respectable looking deal” with the visible and invisible masters and handlers of the current political scene and its democratic appearances.

The PTI government does not look willing to consider the dilemma faced by the “pragmatic moderates” in the opposition parties, however. It surely wants to move on with “my way or the highway” mindset and seriously believes that firmly sticking to the corruption fighting resolve deepens and strengthens its populist base.

Notwithstanding the unforgiving posturing when it comes to deal with its political opponents, the government does feel somewhat jittery regarding the economic scene.

Reliable sources claimed that Shaukat Tareen, a weighty banker with formidable clout among the business community, has again been approached to play an active role to help address the economic slowdown. Seriously wonder how could Tareen furnish any help with control-obsessed Dr Hafiz Shaikh being around while savoring complete trust of the IMF.