Just when you thought you’d seen it all, our great hero, the infallible government, does it again. This is not limited to the current dispensation only. It is to their credit that the ridiculous has been taken to an all time high. It took only one press conference, half an hour and some distinguished federal ministers to accomplish this astonishing feat. PTI and others including some TV channels had been at it for all this while but could not create the desired impact. They did manage to arouse a lot of curiosity and raise a lot of doubts, but the job was only half done. It must have been very infuriating for some of our brave treasury benchers, who decided to take charge and finish the task themselves. And my word, how successful they are! They indicted, tried and sentenced their own government, all in one go, and with such great finesse. How lucky can one get?

Where else can you find the proclaimed offenders going about their business in broad day light, with complete impunity and the government doing nothing about it? Where else can you find such a government actually defending this inaction with even greater impunity? Where is the law? In fact, is there a law to start with? If it was mind boggling thus far, how do you reconcile to the declaration by this very government that some of these proclaimed offenders, in addition to being tax defaulters, are also guilty of having assets beyond their known means? This was the essence of the press conference addressed by the government’s spokespersons in the afternoon on Friday, 28 November. Their strategy in adopting this route to defend their leader was a master stroke. Their tone and tenor was even better; an expression of loyalty in its crudest form. It would have been sickening if it were not so pathetic; they went on to equate Nawaz Sharif with the moon.

What is a government meant for? Levelling false accusations, a crime of which this government claims to be the greatest victim? If these allegations are true then why have the offenders not been prosecuted in the court of law? There should be something to this effect in our Constitution, or does it allow the government to do only and exactly as it pleases? We are sick and tired of hearing every one talk about the sanctity of the Constitution. The Leader of the Opposition was so emphatic in this regard that he actually forced the Leader of the House into a very famous gaffe on the floor of the House. Where are these defenders of the Constitution now? Why is the government not being hauled up for its blatant breaches of the law? Of the etiquettes of governance?

There are provisions in the Constitution to check excesses by everyone including the government, particularly by the government. We have numerous laws for this purpose. Apparently, these provisions and laws are either not sufficient or simply not good enough for our ruling elite. Why not have two separate Constitutions then, and two separate set of laws, one each for haves and have nots? Practically, this is already in force. Why not just make it constitutionally legal? This suggestion should draw quite a great deal of flak from the purists. Perhaps we should have some more laws passed by our great and practically irrelevant parliament. It will give them something to do:

No one, especially the government, will be allowed to function within the limits of competence, reason or logic. Anyone found in breach of this law will be punished with bigger responsibilities.

All upper limits to ridiculous, ludicrous, foolishness and stupidity will be abolished forthwith. (These are nonexistent any way. Case in point is the recent claim by a GOP minister that Imran Khan is sponsoring big oil interests against the coal fired power projects through his agitation. Never mind the fact that these very oil interests were introduced by PML(N) and advanced wholeheartedly by the PPP. Do we even remember these to be one of the most telling blows to our economy?)

Party leaders can think no wrong, speak no wrong and do no wrong. They will be praised at all times for everything.

There you have it, the dreaded Third Force; the real one, a part of all our set ups, especially within the government. The Third Force is incompetence combined with greed and sycophancy, and it will always be the greatest multiplier on the path to self destruction.

The writer has served on the faculty of Command Staff College and National Defense University