Another day, another key member of the opposition arrested, once more in sensational style.

Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani faces an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income as well as allegations that he had embezzled public funds. These are indeed serious charges which deserve a thorough investigation, and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cannot be blamed for taking action in an inquiry that has been initiated since June of last year. However, what is left unsaid in this transactional description of the arrest covers volumes. This arrest has not been made in a vacuum, and we are forced to deal with the complete context, as well as the inevitable ripples the arrest will send out through the political landscape.

As it stands NAB is perusing references against politicians to the exclusion of all others with a zeal not seen before; and the opposition seems to be at the receiving end of this zeal. With this country’s dismal history of governmental corruption, and the opposition’s many stints at the helm, no one can presume that they all departed their posts with their hands clean. Yet, the notion of “across the board accountability” - an essential part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) message – has to be proven more than a buzzword.

When opposition members are publically arrested and remanded, and the government’s ministers and members undergoing similar investigations are not, a discrepancy can be seen. The NAB and the government may claim that they are impartial and simply following the money but the numbers don’t lie. The opposition overwhelmingly gets the shackles; the government, a slap on the wrist.

What this discrepancy breeds is a strong sense of victimisation, and coupled with the government’s confrontational approach in the halls of power; a conflict in the making. Pakistan People’s Party is seething, and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is no better. An even-handed approach to corruption references and arrests could have avoided this situation.