The narrative of selective accountability is going to haunt the new government along with the judiciary of the country if no significant action is taken. Several voices in the polity, despite their support for the process of creating accountability, have highlighted that this accountability process has been initiated only for a selected few – till the elections it had only targeted prominent figures associated to a particular political party. The movement which started in the name of accountability has not morphed into a more expansive movement – as was promised – which is why all eyes are on the new government set up and their policies
The precedent set by the court shows its willingness to make decisions independent of influences and hold powerful political leaders accountable. This movement, however, should not end with the disqualification and imprisonment of a selected few, rather it should hold each person accountable who have disregarded the laws of the country.
It is time that attention is given to other individuals whose names have cropped up in the Panama Papers, and other politicians with vast inexplicable assets – regardless of party affiliations.
Both the institutions need to join forces to continue the movement. It is the job of both, the judiciary and the government, to create accountability. Imran Khan’s anti-corruption manifesto and the judiciary’s zealous prosecution of politicians are both predicated on this trend continuing.
A former prime minister is currently serving jail time due to the severity of the crime and that realisation should not just end with him. Otherwise, this will again serve as the basis of the narrative of an engineered accountability. All eyes are on the new set up now because the populace very well knows that accountability process will not be strengthened only by opening investigations or filing references, but rather by actually reaching conclusive decisions in a court of law to penalise those who wronged the state.