Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is to Parliament what sunlight is to winter in Antarctica: ie, rarely seen. Despite being cast as the lead, he appears to have settled for the role of a guest star. Since being elected in the May 2013 general elections, the number of times he has attended the National Assembly session can be counted on a single hand. What could be keeping him away from the House for which he crossed mountains, only to stop at the gate?

The opposition is asking the same question, and rightly so. Having first had to suffer Leader of the Opposition, Ch Nisar Ali Khan, for five years, they now find themselves faced with the tedium of Interior Minister, Ch Nisar Ali Khan. While the Interior Minister’s addresses to Parliament are well-attended and closely followed for lack of alternate entertainment; he, or for that matter Finance Minister Ishaq Dar are no replacement for the Prime Minister — no matter how high his esteem of them, or the trust he places in their capabilities.

Riaz Hussain Pirzada, an esteemed member of parliament belonging to the ruling PML-N party,has  suggested that a statue ought to be erected in honour of Leader of the Opposition, Khursheed Shah. Mr Pirzada’s suggestion is perhaps more appropriate when considered for his own party’s Prime Minister. A statue of Mr Sharif would most likely serve as well as the PM himself, given his apparent vow of silence on affairs of national importance. At least the Premiere’s likeness, if not he himself, would be available to provide comfort to his beleaguered colleagues.