On Tuesday, in a statement at the event of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s 88th birth anniversary, Asif Ali Zardari said that selective accountability must end and that “sacred cow syndrome and double standards” are the worst forms of corruption. One wonders if any of these words apply to the party itself?

While the PPP demands for the centre that it cease and desist with its operation against the party, its local machinations do not inspire much confidence in the claim that they are an honest, law abiding party. The Sindh government on Monday removed Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and posted in his place a relatively junior bureaucrat, Asif Hyder Shah, who does not fulfil the grade criteria for the post.

The decision also made the main opposition party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, very unhappy. The MQM accused the PPP of misusing routine transfer and posting as a tool to influence indirect local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad districts and gave it an ethnic colour by pointing out that both the city police chief and the commissioner are not domiciled in Karachi. PPP leader Senator Saeed Ghani defended the appointment of Mr Shah and said it was done purely on merit. Either way, the party continues to be controversial at a time when it needs to seem compliant and reformative.

“Doing politics under the garb of corruption is also corruption.” These were Zardari’s words just a day ago, a jab at the politics of the ruling party. While it is easy to criticise the PPP as it is currently in the limelight, other parties have not done much better. On Sunday, PML-Q Punjab president Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi claimed that Orange Line project would prove another multi-million dollar scam, bigger than the Nandipur Power plant. If one talks about accountability of the PPP in Sindh, PML-N in Punjab is comparable with its lack of accountability.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, in the same vein, on Sunday warned to hold a sit-in in the capital against the PML-N government for “creating hindrances in the way of justice for victims of Model Town incident”. When the PPP is dealt with under the Karachi operation, and so is the MQM, it will only be the end of an opposition to the PML-N. To suggest that there is no corruption in Punjab or that the ruling party has no ties to any dangerous groups would be naïve. As much as we want corrupt parties to end their reign over Karachi and Sindh, we also want better accountability and an end to corruption in Punjab- something the PML-N will never allow to happen if it remains in power.