When the chants of ‘Go Nawaz Go’ echoed all over the country, it was ‘Mard-e-Hur’ Asif Zardari who bailed him out. Now that Zardari is in trouble Mian Sahib has ducked. This time around Nawaz will have to go as Operation Clean-up is poised to cleanse the political system. Status-quo devils have nowhere to hide or run their days are now numbered.

By siding with the Khakis Mian Sahib will only get temporary space. Eventually the Operation Clean-up will get him. Some analysts believe that the tenure of incumbent Army Chief is critical to survival, and so the PML-N has decided to lie low till November 2016 when they will be in a position to appoint a new head of the Khakis. Political maturity also demands that Mian Sahib learns to live with the Chief as he has a track record of confrontation with them starting with General Asif Nawaz Janjua all the way down to General Pervez Musharraf.

Being a child of Zia’s establishment PML-N has succeeded in destroying all civilian institutions. Khakis remain the only functional body in the country and perhaps the last obstacle to Mian Sahib’s hegemonic designs of grandeur of becoming Amiur-ul-Mominen. The Armed Forces under General Raheel Sharif have decided to break the Military-Mulla-Mufad alliance of which Nawaz is a product. Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJT) propelled Mian Sahib to capture Islamabad through a manipulated ballot in 1990. Since then there has been no looking back, power, prestige, influence and wealth have all been accumulated.

A disputed mandate robs the political leadership of legitimacy and when a party becomes shy of ballot it signals the beginning of the end. In 1977 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) delayed fresh elections and suffered heavily. Mian Sahib repeated the same mistake. When the May 2013 elections were disputed, PTI demanded probe of only four constituencies which was avoided. Even the judiciary was used to delay the available relief.

Pakistan has a history of long marches each one has produced results. When people decide to march in, the government has to march out. Even dictators like Zia and Musharraf had to give in to the will of the marchers. In the recently held Local Bodies elections in KPK there were widespread complaints of mismanagement. It was the largest electoral exercise in the history of the country where 83000 candidates were elected through adult franchises. LB elections are always heated as the electorate is small and close. According to available information only in Gujranwala Division on an average around ten people lose their lives in LB elections related violence every time. Kaptaan was able to stump his opponents by offering re-election which indicates confidence in the electorate which both ZAB and Nawaz lacked.

Political leaders derive strength from an honest ballot and adherence to constitution which are both missing in case of Mian Sahib. In order to survive politically Nawaz will have to change his approach as his government stands on very weak foundations. The 1973 constitution is a beacon of hope and light for the nation that successive governments have ignored. There have been blatant violations of several important clauses as under:

1. CLAUSE 25A: Right to Education: By 1985 every Pakistani should have been literate but it did not happen due to Zia’s 8th amendment. After the 18th amendment every child between the ages of five to sixteen years should have been in school by August 2013 but the deadline was missed.

2. CLAUSE 32: Promotion of Local Government Institutions: This has been ignored successive elected governments.

3. CLAUSE 37: Promotion of Social Justice: No efforts are underway.

4. CLAUSE 38: Promotion of Social Justice and Economic Well Being of the People: Only lip service and laptop distribution has been done.

5. CLAUSE 63: Disqualification of Member of Parliament: There are strict clauses against un-paid and written off loans and government dues.

How can a democratic government survive if it comes into power through a manipulated/disputed electoral exercise and then violates the constitution that it is supposed to uphold and defend? The answer is that it cannot. Police brutality alone cannot ensure continuity.

History is a great teacher for those who desire to learn. In order to survive Mian Sahib has to move in the right direction which is constitution and the rule of law. The verdict of the Judicial Commission is anxiously awaited but election irregularities have already been highlighted. The May 2013 ballot was neither free nor fair.

It is in Mian Sahib’s interest to speed up the work of the Electoral Reforms committee of the parliament so that the next elections are credible. All constitutional violations have to be done away with specifically the five that have been highlighted (25A, 32, 37, 38, 63). Zarb-e-Azab is now moving inwards. After cleansing the port city of Karachi it will certainly move upcountry. Status-quo parties and politicians are in deep trouble either they will be wiped out en-masse or they can start self assessment and internal cleaning. Legislators who do not meet the laid down conditions under clause 63(N, O) should be disqualified and sent home.

Accountability can only be effective when institutions are functional. Both Zardari and Nawaz came into power with NAB cases pending against them. Cleansing calls for disqualification not accountability, as we are past that point. The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has withstood the test of times and has saved the federation; it is the only hope for Mian Nawaz Sharif. Follow the constitution or face political annihilation with chants of ‘Go Nawaz Go’ all around.