The PML-N is not just a party of hawks; there are sane elements—such as Chaudhri Nisar Ali Khan—who continue to knock some sense into the heads of the new-found “ideologues” or “rebels” of arguably Pakistan’s largest political party.
The former interior minister, an indispensable cog in the PML-N machine, has counselled the leadership and the rank and file of the PML-N to refrain from maligning the army and the judiciary as a whole. He also warned that the party’s confrontationist narrative against the institutions may pose serious problems for it in the next elections.
While some leaders of the PML-N have dubbed Mr Nisar’s statements as his personal views, given the latter’s stature and his association with the party it’s hard to believe them. Coming from a seasoned member of Pakistan’s key political party, his warnings and alarming predictions must be taken all the more seriously by the elements that seek constant friction with the judiciary and the powerful establishment.
Of late, lashing out at the judiciary, especially the five judges who ousted him, has become Nawaz Sharif’s favorite pastime. He probably still has not come to terms with the fact that he is no longer the prime minister and doesn’t let go of any opportunity to discredit the judiciary and the army which he believes is complicit with the five judges to expel him.
To make matters worse, half the PML-N leadership appears busy in slinging mud at the country’s two vital institutions, which, according to independent political commentators, may land the party into serious trouble, confining it to a parochial entity of just one province.
The PML-N, which is undoubtedly Pakistan’s most experienced political party, must learn from its past mistakes and avoid treading a dangerous path that will lead to nothing but catastrophe. It must heed Chaudhri Nisar’s sane advice and shun unnecessary confrontation with the institutions.