Azam Khalil Those who in quarrels interpose; must often wipe a bloody nose. Gay The scene is all too familiar. Both the Governor of the Punjab, Mr Salman Taseer, and the Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, are once again engaged in childish squabbles creating a poor image for the politicians amongst the general public. Both the leaders have been sniping at each another for the last so many days and with each passing day the quality of language being used by these 'gentlemen has slipped to extremely low levels. This is being termed a ploy by some to divert the attention of the people from real issues like unemployment, rising prices, load shedding and failing law and order. It all began when the Law Minister of Punjab, Rana Sanaullah, was caught on the wrong foot and the media exposed his building which had ostensibly violated some laws. Everyone is aware that the chief minister and the governor had locked their horns on the issue of high-rise buildings in which the chief minister had ordered that all buildings that had violated the law should be pulled down or at least those floors demolished that did not have the sanction of the law. On the other hand, the contention of the governor has been that instead of pulling down buildings and creating a mess on the streets it would have been betters if the owners had been fined as per the provisions of the law. This debate was continuing when the issue of Rana Sanaullah came into limelight leading to more shrill voices and more vicious sniping against one another. As if this was not enough, the chief secretarys car met with an accident in which a retired colonel died due to injuries received during the accident. In normal circumstances this would have been treated as an unfortunate accident and nothing more but in the present day politics of Punjab it has blown up into a serious issue in which the governor is now daily called for the removal of the chief secretary and for holding of an independent inquiry into the accident. It is extremely unfortunate that the issue of an accident is being played up that in a normal situation would have been ignored except for the desirable messages of condolence and regret that would have emanated due to the incident. As far as the chief secretary is concerned, he is known to be a person with a good heart and deep compassion and therefore there seems to be little justification for calls of his removal for an incident that purely falls in the category of a road accident. He has however gone on leave. Similarly, instead of playing politics on the issue of high-rise buildings the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party and PML-N were expected to show maturity and sit down to devise an acceptable methodology in which the issue could be resolved in a manner that would not only satisfy the provisions of law but also ensure that there were no major losses suffered by the erring owners of these high-rise buildings. However, both the parties have decided to throw caution to the wind and were now engaged in a verbal battle to the delight of the print and electronic media in the country. On a more serious plane the Punjab government and the governor have developed serious differences on the issue of judges that were sent to the governor for his consideration and subsequent approval of the president. In this case, the governor has a point by taking a considerable length of time to finalise the names received by him. His contention that the nominated names represent a specific school of thought and a clan were the reasons for his minute consideration on the names holds water. Since the issue of judiciary has become extremely sensitive here again it would have been advisable if all the parties i.e. the chief justice of the Lahore High Court, the governor and perhaps the chief minister could have got down and developed a list by consensus which could have resulted in the issue being resolved very quickly. Since this procedure has not been followed and there is a difference of opinion, the issue has delayed to an extent where everyone has issued public statements creating more difficulties for themselves. If we are to analyse the present situation it would not be difficult for us to judge that poor politics is being played in the province of Punjab leaving an undesirable image of the present leadership amongst the people. With the local government elections not very far, this situation needs to be rectified pretty quickly otherwise a mess may be created that is in nobodys interest. Already the people of Pakistan are caught up in an attitude of indifference and nothing seems to move them in the proper direction. It was therefore extremely important for the leaders of all the communities to set up examples that would be proper for the people to follow. However, what is happening today was exactly the opposite because those whose responsibility is to set examples for others were indulging in mud-slinging and were often caught in acts that brought shame and grief to the entire country. Not long ago a PML-N MPA Shumaila Rana was caught on camera shopping with a stolen credit card that damaged the entire image of the Punjab Assembly. Then who can forget the press reports about the henchmen of Khwaja Asif obtaining letters of appointment from a government functionary after kidnapping him at gunpoint. Stories of PML-N MNA Mr Afzal Khokhar were being printed regularly for violating the law of the land. No one seems to proceed against these people who have political clout with them but on the other hand the poor run from pillar to post seeking justice that is normally denied to them. The case of a housemaid, Shazia, has hit the headlines where a leader of the lawyers community Mr Naeem has been accused of torturing the girl to death. Here again reports suggest that members of the particular political party were trying to force the family of the housemaid to take some money and withdraw their case. One hopes that the Chief Minister of Punjab, who claims to be working overtime for the poor, will constitute a team of eminent lawyers for the poor family so that they are able to contest their case to the line of finish and do not suffer due to lack of resources. Conventional wisdom however suggests that this will not happen and the case along with justice will die down and become another speck of dust in history. Furthermore in Shazias case, the people would also judge the entire independent judiciary from the sessions to the Supreme Court level and see whether the poor housemaid, who died a painful death, was ever given a fair deal by her country and its political leadership. In the present day scenario, the answer is not difficult to find because we all know that it will be extremely difficult rather impossible for the family of Shazia to obtain justice. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com