Hardly a reporter, sequestered in the press lounge, was found paying full attention to speeches delivered in the national assembly Friday morning. Hooked to phones, almost everyone seemed quite keen to get the latest from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

A ten-member bench of the Apex Court was dealing with a set of petitions, filed against the validity of a reference that the Imran Government had posted to Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against a very senior judge of the same court.

I mostly prefer to keep myself confined to happenings in parliament while writing this column. At least twice, however, one felt compelled to drop heavy hints that the government might suffer irreparable embarrassment at the end of this case. The historic, dramatic and unprecedented statement by the wife of the accused judge, via media link Thursday, confirmed my hunch.

The short judgment, announced Friday, is set to ignite a surfeit of questions. Besides puncturing the obsessive zeal for “ruthless accountability” the political blowback could also push the executive and the judiciary to chaotic divisions. We must keep our fingers crossed.

Suffice at the moment would be to suggest with a humble heart that the fervent handlers of the PTI’s “narrative promotion,” through diligent use of the social media, must try to forget and forgive. The huge swarm of “YouTube Influencers,”they patronize, would rather deepen the chaos in the given context.

Returning to national assembly proceedings, I have to state that the story, Raja Pervez Ashraf, a former Prime Minister and senior most member of the PPP, had narrated during his otherwise insipid speech, sounded too frightening. It could make many of us to feel doubly insecure and almost abandoned during the gloomy times of an ongoing pandemic.

Pervez Ashraf stunned many by revealing that a few days ago, Chaudhry Yasin, a veteran politician from Azad Kashmir who is also leading the opposition in its assembly, found himself unable to breath. Perhaps he was hit by Corona. His condition required SOS hospitalization. No hospital, government-run or otherwise, was ready to admit him though.

The PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Raja Pervez Ashraf could not sleep for many hours. They combined their efforts and employed all kind of influence to find a bed for him in any hospital. Dr. Zafar Mirza, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on public health, was also approached. After many hours of frantic effort, they finally managed to get the patient admitted in a private hospital. The delayed treatment has not helped Chaudhry Yasin to feel stable on a fast track.

Raja was not the only member of the national assembly, who had complained about the lack of appropriate facilitates for dealing with Corona-struck patients in Islamabad. Thursday afternoon, Mufti Abdushakoor from the Jamiat-e-Ulma-e-Islam (JUI) also narrated a similar story.

Mufti claimed that some days ago, Maulvi Anwar, another JUI MNA from Balochistan, began feeling uncomfortable with Corona-hinting symptoms. Along with a group of friends, Mufti took him to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), promoted as the most modern hospital of Islamabad, considered a model for the rest of hospitals all over the country.

“No doctor or a paramedic,” Mufti alleged, “was even willing to come close to Maulvi Anwar.” They kept recommending a privately run hospital, which they also claimed, was the “only hospital in Islamabad” that can test someone for Corona and decide how to deal with it.

Thanks to a trustworthy friend,I was already familiar with the ordeal, PPP leaders had endured to get a towering leader of their party from Azad Kashmir, Chaudhry Yasin, admitted to a hospital some days ago.

After listening to the speeches of Mufti Shakoor and Raja Pervez Ashraf from the national assembly floor, I have been constantly wondering with jitters about where to go, if God forbid, an average citizen like me or someone dear and near to me, requires emergency-treatment for Corona-hinting symptoms.

It will not be fair to hold hospitals and their staff exclusively responsible for a dismal looking scene, that too in the capital of Pakistan. By the middle March of this, our government had realized that COVID-19 was set to spread. To prevent it, some kind of a lockdown had also been enforced for more than two months.

This provided the government with ample time to dedicate a set of hospitals for dealing with Corona-hit patients. The trajectory of the pandemic clearly suggested the aggregate number of beds, these hospital would need. We had not witnessed appropriate contingency planning. Little wonder, even the well-connected and influential politicians are now finding it extremely difficult to get due attention in hospitals.

The stories told by Mufti Shakoor and Raja Pervez Ashraf certainly deserved detailed clarification from the government. Not a person from the treasury benches cared to address the issue.

Amjad Khan, the PTI MNA from Mianwali, rather took the floor to promote his party’s pet theme that until the surfacing of Imran Khan on our political scene, all politicians without any exception, were behaving like compulsive “looters and plunderers.” They crippled the whole edifice of governance and made the country bankrupt, turning it into a helpless dependent on  “foreign loans.”

Amjad Khan started his politician-hating and condemning tale with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the PPP founder and the first prime minister of Pakistan after the war of 1971. He held him responsible for the break up of Pakistan in that year.

Doing this, Amjad Khan conveniently forgot that his father, Dr. Sher Afgan, had been a very favorite minister of Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto during both her governments in the 1990s. Even in the election of 2002, he got elected to the national assembly on PPP ticket, but after returning to the house opted to serve the military dictator as a “patriot.”

Amjad Khan was equally rude and unforgiving, when it came to Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N. His speech provoked Riaz Pirzada of the PML-N to subtly explain the real dynamics of power in our hybrid democracy. Being a committed advocate of farmers’ cause, he mostly remained focused, however, to wail over the growth-impeding factors, ruining the potential of agriculture in Pakistan.

Shah Mehmud Qureshi, the foreign minister, had to deliver a long speech in the Senate Friday to explain the process that helped India to get elected to UN Security Council, for a limited term. Mushahid Hussein Syed, the PML-N Senator, forced him to deliver an apologetic speech.An erstwhile newspaper editor-turned-politician, Mushahid Hussein Syed, strongly believed that Pakistan should have mounted huge resistance to India’s election, due to what it has been doing in Occupied Kashmir since August 5, 2019.

It is true that since the late 1970s, India and Pakistan had not been resisting each other’s selection for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council. India’s arbitrary and brute actions in Occupied Kashmir since August 5, 2019 certainly demanded a paradigm shift. Shah Mehmud Qureshi tried to pacify Mushahid Hussein Syed with empty rhetoric and a wishy-washy speech.

Assuaging the opposition with a speech, embarrassingly devoid of solid content, the foreign minister could also not remember that it was not any opposition parliamentarian but a ministerial colleague of his, Dr. Shireen Mazari, who had led the campaign of questioning the diplomatic limits of the Imran government, by highlighting the election of India for a UNSC seat. Through a long thread of forceful tweets, she had expressed her rage. I seriously wonder if Shah Sahib would care to pacify her as well.

Puncturing the obsessive zeal for “ruthless accountability”