PTI and PML-N are both acting like they trumped the other – PTI sees the Supreme Court (SC) proceedings as a victory, while PML-N sees the U-turn of Imran Khan as their personal triumph. As the dust around the lockdown drama turns to mud, petty politics have taken hold in the shape of PTI versus PML-N legal battles.

The PML-N came under fire for its heavy-handed approach to the travelling protesters and is now facing the brunt of the blame for the inability of accountability institutions in the country to even start investigations in to the Panama leaks. Not only that, but there is also the giant elephant in the room; the Prime Minister’s children have yet to answer for the offshore companies connected to them in the SC. The Attorney General (more or less acting as the PM’s defence attorney) could only state that he could not consult them on such short notice.

Lazy excuses like these are not going to help anyone believe that Maryam Nawaz and her siblings are completely guilt-free. The constant tussle between the two parties does not end here though. Other legal petitions are also in the offing, the KP government is filing one against Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar for ‘attacking Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak’ and Jahangir Tareen has filed another against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for defamation.

With the KP provincial government and the federal government at each other’s throats, and the Chief Minister of Punjab also now embroiled in legal troubles of his own, who is left to pay attention to the actual needs of the people? What was supposed to be a fight for accountability has transformed into something much uglier with cases and counter cases, and further cases to counter them; none linked, all politically motivated. The SC looking into Panamagate should have been enough for the time being, but personal enmities have taken over as usual. The game has become about the Sharifs versus the PTI, the winner being the one who can wrack up more lawsuits against the other. Remember when the actual issues were corruption and accountability?

This was only to be expected when two parties consistently engage in personal attacks against one another, looking to use character assassinations as legitimate political tools. The lockdown cancellation could have gone down as a pragmatic and reconciliatory move, where the parties at odds buried the hatchet in the Supreme Court’s robes. But with all the legal battles, we will probably be treated to mudsling in courts in place of abuses hurled on the streets of Islamabad.