LAHORE - Mian Nawaz Sharif is expected to be elected president of the PML-N at a meeting of the party’s General Council slated for October 3.

This is despite the fact that Supreme Court disqualified him as prime minister on July 28 after prolonged legal proceedings against him and his children. The country’s top court also threw out his review petition a few days later. By virtue of the judgment it is not legally possible for the former premier to head the party.

The judgment is important as the bench included two senior judges who would be the chief justices of Pakistan after the retirement of the incumbent CJP – Saqib Nisar.

But in a clever move the ruling party got approved a law even from the Senate where the PML-N is a minority party – and will remain so till the next election to the 50 percent seats in March next year.

The National Assembly is expected to pass the legislation in next few days under which even a disqualified politician can lead a party.

The president will give his assent to the legislation during the next few days, after which way will be paved for the former prime minister to be the president of the ruling party.

The parliamentarians argue that since the parliament is supreme it can take any decision, regardless of the opinion of other institutions. They claim it their victory that the disqualified prime minister will be the head of the ruling party once again.

But should Mr Sharif lead the PML-N after the apex court’s verdict?

True that the parliament is supreme, but it is also a fact that the lawmakers can’t go against the spirit of the Constitution and in case they do, the apex court strike down such an initiative. The parliament also cannot reverse a judgment of the country’s top court.

Since parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle are supposed to be the role model for their voters, they should not do anything that violates the law or the constitution.

The mere fact that a party has, or can manage, majority votes in both houses of the bicameral legislature doesn’t mean that it is free to enact any legislation that suits its political interests.

A police constable can’t be appointed as a judge of the apex court even if the parliament approves such a move, no matter how enviable the performance of such a law-enforcer. Similarly, a condemned prisoner cannot be given a government job even if the president pardons him, using his constitutional powers.

If the PML-N elects Mian Nawaz Sharif as its next president just because of its numerical strength in the parliament or its manoeuvring skills does not mean that such a move would be constitutionally valid.

In such a situation the decision can be challenged in the apex court which can strike it down, a result of which confrontation between the government and the judiciary would intensify. Such a situation should be avoided at all costs.

ANP leader late Khan Abdul Wali Khan used to say that anybody having Rs 2,000 million in his pocket can get any law passed from the National Assembly of Pakistan. (When he said this the NA comprised 208 seats, and in his reckoning an amount of Rs 10 million could make a legislator change his position on any issue).

There are many capable people in the PML-N (even in the Sharif family) who can lead the party with or without guidance from Mr Sharif. Such people should be brought to the fore. Mr Sharif has spent some four decades in politics and now he should let his juniors run the party – and the system.

The move to elect Mr Sharif as the PML-N president comes at a time when the PPP has proposed that judges and generals should also be held accountable for their misdoings. As a matter of principle the idea is not bad but those holding them accountable must be with clean hands.

At the moment a number of legislators are involved in wrongdoings, and soon the ruling PML-N would be headed by a politician rejected by the Supreme Court. Can such people bring the judges and generals into the dock? And will the judges and generals like to be proceeded against by such people?

The judges claim that they have their own system of accountability, although it is as ineffective as the process for the rest of the country. Likewise, the army can argue that they have a separate system to reward or punish the military men.

Ostensibly, the argument holds water.

Before thinking of holding the judges and generals accountable, the politicians should have unquestionable integrity - and this is not the situation at present. Such a move in the prevailing circumstances will not bring the desired results. In fact it may backfire.