The ruling party’s leaders seem convinced that victory in the Panama case is all but assured. Maryam Aurangzeb, Anusha Rehman and Daniyal Aziz are only a few names in the long list of PML-N leaders that have made their confidence public. But PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi has gone a step further – he is asking the Supreme Court to now move on his petition against Imran Khan considering the hearings in the Panama case have concluded. While the hearings for the Panama case discuss an important issue (corruption) relevant to the country’s future, the case had a way of deflecting public (and political) attention from other issues of arguably greater importance. Surely another high-profile case with the allegations thrown to the opposing side should not be the greatest priority?

Apart from high-profile political leaders attending the hearings from either side – taking away important time that could have been spent working – the case was more than simple proceedings; it was a personal battle between PTI and PML-N, further fuelling the rivalry that does not seem any closer to dying down. This latest petition against Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen – seeking their disqualification from parliament – is one of the many counter accusations lobbed at PTI from PML-N. The claims within – owning offshore companies and concealing assets – are essentially the mirror image of what PTI had said against the Prime Minister and his family.

This tit-for-tat accusation spree must now stop. The decision on the Panama case is still pending, and it’s not like the SC bench that presided over the hearings will have no other cases to attend to. Taking away from the precious time of the judiciary when the country’s judicial system is suffering from tremendous backlog is of no use. In any case, the SC is hardly the personal tribunal of political parties, to resolve disputes whenever asked.

It is time for both party leaders to go back to their day-jobs of policymaking. Personal attacks against one another for minor political gains is not the way to go about making a lasting support base – working to address the needs of the people is. Diverting both resources and attention away from pressing problems such as the rise in the incidence of terrorism and developmental goals missed needs to stop. The Panama case has concluded; the decision will follow. Until then, political parties and individual leaders should exercise patience and restraint.