Whenever I heard the former Information Minister of the Punjab government Fiaz ul Hasan Chauhan shedding pearls of wisdom on political issues and government policies while talking to the media, I could not help thinking why for any earthly reason such a loose cannon like him who lacked the imagination and ability to conduct himself in a dignified manner, had been given the responsibility to act as a spokesman of the government.

He often used to have spat even with the journalists during his interaction with them and if my memory serves me right he made some derogatory and misogynistic remarks against film star and stage actress Nargis last August saying “ If I had the authority I would have sent Nargis for offering Haj and made her keep 300 fasts a year” It not only invoked severe reaction from the artist but people from all spectrums of the society as well as some leaders of the PTI who condemned his remarks and in the end he had to tender an apology to the artist. He once also made derogatory remarks about Kashmiris while hurling criticism at Nawaz Sharif for which he had to regret and apologize. He once walked out of a current affairs programme of a TV channel using abusive language.

Chauhan enjoyed the blessings of Prime Minister in doing what he has been doing. Reportedly when sometimes back journalists complained to Imran Khan about uncouth and objectionable language used by Chauhan which suggestively caused embarrassment for the government, he defended him saying that Chauhan had been defending him and the party when nobody dared to do so. He described him as his ‘Cheetah’ (Tiger). It was probably that pat on the back which kept Chauhan on the wrong track. However the derogatory remarks about the Hindu community that led to his fall from the ministerial position, were fraught with multiple repercussions at the national and international level and nobody even his mentor could endorse that indiscretion. The deluge of harsh criticism in the media particularly social media and the protest lodged by the leaders of the Hindu community left no choice for Imran Khan other than to ditch him. The ‘Cheeta’ fell to his own antics.

Unfortunately PTI is full of the likes of Chauhan who not only use foul language against their political opponents but have no qualms even about hitting them as well. Naeem ul Haq special assistant to the Prime Minister slapped Daniyal Aziz during a panel discussion on a TV channel during the PML (N) rule. However the latter kept his cool and showed grace in the face of street-urchin like behaviour of the former. Who can forget the brawl between Saeed Murad and PML (N) MNA Javed Latif in the lobby of the National Assembly? The recent spat on twitter between Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Naeem Ul Haq is also indicative of lack of discipline in the party ranks. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed is another unenviable addition to the PTI coalition. Though he claims to have done B.A LLB but he does not seem to have gone even to a primary school if one hears to his harangue and insulting language that he uses with impunity against his political rivals particularly his former political guru Nawaz Sharif. Rowdiness is actually the hall mark of PTI. We witnessed repeated rumpus in the previous assembly with the PTI members frequently trying to stop the proceedings of the assembly and besieging the speaker frequently.

Imran himself is responsible for introducing this culture in the politics of the country. Though nobody in his right mind would endorse the same behaviour by the current opposition in the national assembly but the fact is that it is the taste of Imran’s own medicine. What Imran did while standing on the container along with Tahir ul Qadri and their encouragement of the mob to attack the PTV headquarters and the Parliament House, will remain the most disgraceful chapter of Pakistan’s political history. He enjoyed the sight of stone-pelting by the mob at a media house under his approving gaze while standing on the container.

It is regrettable that even after coming to power, the PTI and its leaders have not given up their antics that they used to employ while being in the opposition. The PTI remains mired in political vendetta and scripted witch-hunt in the name of accountability. Surely, accountability is must to ensure good governance and creating congenial atmosphere for nudging economic activity in the country provided it is across the board. The current process of accountability has zero credibility in view of the fact that only the opposition leaders are being targeted. The process becomes even more discredited in view of the verdicts given by the Lahore High Court in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company and Ashiana Housing Scheme cases while accepting bails of the accused that the NAB had acted with mala fide intent and no irregularity had been committed in those cases.

The process of accountability would have been credible if proceedings had been initiated against corrupt judges, bureaucrats, generals and all those whose names appeared in the Panama leaks. Targeting the opposition is surely aggravating ambience of political instability which could undermine the efforts designed to revive the economy and move towards good governance. Imran needs serious rethinking on this.

The painful reality about the prevalent political landscape in the country is that it has inbuilt avenues of corruption which encourages a culture of graft and entitlement. Almost all the politicians and legislators on both sides of the aisle are the beneficiaries of that corrupt system and have made fortunes by exploiting it. The senate elections and the way the independent legislators were lured and trapped to join PTI after elections for forming the government at Centre and in Punjab are the most despicable examples of power grabbing by all means.

Imran should have no illusions about the fact that he would be able to implement his much trumpeted agenda with the help of the people that he has around him. They all represent the vested interests and have even thwarted the attempts of the true leaders of the masses like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Generals who grabbed power to fix the maladies afflicting body politics of Pakistan. They will ditch him with the turn of the tide like they have been doing to others in the past. The PTI government, which is hanging by a thin thread in Centre and Punjab, needs to act rationally recognizing the ground realities before the things reach a point of no return.

Change in the system of governance and setting up a credible mechanism for across the board accountability would require cooperation of the opposition as it would entail certain amendments in the constitution as well as promulgation of required laws. Solo flight by Imran Khan in the prevailing circumstances and the grave challenges confronting the country, will take him nowhere.

Unfortunately PTI is full of the likes of Chauhan who not only use foul language against their political opponents but have no qualms even about hitting them as well.

The writer is a freelance.

columnist.ashpak10@gmail.com