Tahir ul Qadri, the PAT Chief addressing a press conference claimed that 300 hundred Indian agents were working in the sugar mills of the Sharif family. They were brought to Pakistan without fulfilling the required formalities including clearance by the agencies. He also released a list of 50 Indian nationals in this regard and said that another list of 250 would be released very soon. The most preposterous suggestion made by him was that the government of Nawaz Sharif was involved in the conspiracy to break the country, acting on the nefarious designs of Indian intelligence agencies which were carrying out acts of terrorism in Balochistan. Earlier in one of his discourses he had maintained that it was Modi who orchestrated Sharif’s victory in the 2013 elections. He also termed Nawaz Sharif a security risk for the country.

Such serious allegations against a man who has thrice been elected by the people of Pakistan as their Prime Minster, cannot be taken lightly, though no sane person would tend to believe what he has said, owing to the dubious credibility of the man himself. Since his appearance on the political scene prior to the 2013 general elections, after seven years of absence from the country, he has decidedly indulged in politics of disruption and even joined hands with Imran Khan to topple the PML-N government. Who is pulling his strings and sponsoring such fabricated allegations against Nawaz Sharif? The entire episode itself has the trappings of a conspiracy to derail democracy. As far as his political worth is concerned, his party cannot win a single seat of the National Assembly.

Some action needs to be taken to stop this man from acting like a loose cannon. As far as his allegations of Indian agents working in the companies of the Sharif group are concerned, they have been out-rightly rejected by the Managing Director of the Sharif Group of Industries. The spokesman of the Sharif family stated unequivocally that no Indian national ever worked in their industrial concerns. The Sharif family spokesman even dubbed him a ‘chronic liar’, ostensibly a reference to the Lahore High Court verdict on a feigned attack on the residence of the Canada returned cleric, before he left for his adopted country. The family probably is also contemplating to sue him for his indiscretions.

Now coming to the issuance of visas to Indian nationals without clearance from agencies, as claimed by Qadri- it is simply out of question. I have served in Pakistani missions abroad and know that no visa to an Indian national, or even those of Indian origin who have settled in other countries, is ever issued without the clearance of the security agencies of the country and it entails a long process of scrutiny. And even if the visas are issued after clearance from the agencies, they remain under constant vigilance of the agencies during their stay in Pakistan. A similar procedure is adopted by the Indian agencies in respect of the Pakistani nationals.

With regards to Indian experts coming to Pakistan to render services and expertise to industrial units operating in Pakistan, this practice is not uncommon. Several groups and even industries run by some state institutions reportedly have been utilising the services of Indian experts, duly cleared by the agencies. Reportedly India is producing the cheapest turbines which are used in different industries in Pakistan and therefore Indian experts do visit Pakistan to help in their installation and making them operational. One must not forget that despite the perennial hostility between the two countries there is a two-way trade of $5 billion between the two countries. It may be pertinent to point out that the majority of political analysts, commentators, media men and members of the intelligentsia have rubbished the allegations made by Qadri.

Nevertheless, the matter needs to be thoroughly probed, particularly his allegations that the PML-N government was involved in conspiracy to break the country. Enough is enough. His statement is tantamount to an act of subversion and needs to be dealt with accordingly. The first thing that the government should do is to put his name on the ECL and institute a probe against him through an appropriate forum asking him to prove his allegations. If he fails to prove his claims then he should be dealt under relevant laws of the land.

Reportedly, Qadri has declined to join the proposed march of PTI on Raiwind saying that he does not believe in raiding private residences of people. That surely has defused the volatile political situation to a great extent and given some respite to the government. The move by Qadri, notwithstanding all his shenanigans, is a welcome step that indicates that at last sanity has prevailed over madness, as he is now talking of seeking justice for the model town martyrs through the courts. But that retreat in no way lessens the gravity of the unpardonable indiscretion committed by him by dubbing the Prime Minister as a security risk and conspiring to break the country.

PTI led by Imran Khan and other parties supporting the agitation against the government probably need to revisit their strategy. Confrontational politics has never yielded positive results as far as continuation and strengthening of democracy is concerned. It has invariably disrupted democracy and development of democratic institutions that guarantee peace, progress and national integration in a multi-cultural country like Pakistan. The disruption of this process by the anti-democratic forces has been the bane of our socio-economic development. The security challenges facing the country are the collateral damage.

There is no denying the fact that the country is confronted with a myriad of diabolical challenges including an existentialist threat from terrorism and the hostile attitude of some of its neighbours supported by a global power, blinded by her strategic interests in the region. Under the circumstances we need complete national unity to ward off those dangers and challenges. The nation simply cannot afford the luxury of actions that promote fissiparous tendencies and are designed to undermine the credentials of an elected government. Attempts to destabilise an elected government constitute an affront to the genius and mandate of the people.

For democratic dispensation, the government and opposition have a complimentary role in regard to tackling the national challenges and promoting the well being of the people. They need to focus on and give priority to their basic role in this regard keeping their narrow political gains subservient to national causes. Any conduct contrary to this is simply politics of self-aggrandisement.

Though no sane person would tend to believe what he has said, owing to the dubious credibility of the man himself.