It is still unclear what the supporters of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) were trying to achieve when Maryam Nawaz Sharif reached the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) office in Lahore. The clash between Lahore police and PML-N workers was an unfortunate and completely avoidable incident.

While it is difficult to pinpoint who started the violence, both sides should have shown more restraint. On part of the party workers, they had no cause to clash with the police simply because they were not allowed to pass beyond a certain point; if protest was the aim, standing a few feet away from the NAB office would not have made their demonstrations any less valid. Stoning police contingents outside the premises and damaging public property will not exonerate their leader and has only resulted in more trouble for the party, with the government announcing cases and investigations against those responsible.

But the opposition on the other hand, claims that it was the law enforcement officials that attacked political workers that came out in support of the PML-N leader, alleging that the party leadership did not know that so many supporters would show up in solidarity with Maryam Nawaz Sharif. This is a little difficult to believe; that the workers showed up of their own volition. So many supporters of PML-N would not have turned up had no prior discussion on this subject taken place. They would have at least had to know that the scheduled hearing was taking place and that other party workers would be present.

Footage of the incident shows that both sides chose to deliberately use violence, and this must be condemned across the board. Both the government and opposition agree that an investigation into what really transpired is needed. Perhaps that will help unearth the truth of the matter, but in all likelihood neither side is blameless.