It seems that the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is keen on shooting itself in the foot as it has decided that the former Prime Minister (PM) will only be allowed to leave the country after submitting indemnity bond of rupees 7 billion. While the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has already granted Nawaz Sharif bail, the government’s condition of indemnity bond looks like an attempt to create hurdles in the court’s ruling.

While the bail situation keeps changing day by day, we have observed a few things. Once more, what was, and should have been a humanitarian action that might have softened the government’s approach and led to some reconciliation with the opposition has become another protracted political sideshow. With the government’s insistence on presenting indemnity bond, all goodwill has been lost, all reconciliation ruined.

PM Imran Khan needs to get rid of advisers who through such reckless and ill pieces of advice are cornering his government. Demanding such a massive amount in indemnity bond from a former PM when he’s seriously sick may isolate the government. Even the government-appointed medical board testifies that Nawaz’s suffering from life-threatening ailments. The government’s move will help in the consolidation of the opposition parties; they will form a collective front against the government to make it a failure. However, neither the country nor the ruling party can afford such action from the opposition. And to restrain the opposition forces from embarking on such path, the government needs to be openhearted.

If the ruling party is not listening to dissenting voices, at least, it should pay heed to wise words of its allies who are also suggesting the government to let Nawaz Sharif go without creating any hurdles in his departure. Though the government fears that the former PM may abscond from the law, however, Nawaz’s returning back to Pakistan in July last year to complete his sentence show that the government’s fears are unfounded. Indeed, removing a person’s name from the exit control list (ECL) is the government’s prerogative. But the IHC was satisfied with the arguments of the legal team of Nawaz Sharif and granted bail only after much deliberation.

But the government asking for indemnity bond is a political decision and a bad one. The demand of government for submitting the bond, an afterthought, has already tarnished the goodwill of the earlier decision, that is, allowing Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for health reason. The ‘afterthought’ is not only disappointing, but it is also an addition in a list of vindictive yet inconsequential decision the government has taken in the recent past that has made it unpopular.