At a time when unprecedented (though long awaited) accountability of the ruling family of Pakistan is reaching its conclusive stage, an apparent polarisation of opinion makers is evident. On one side are the opponents of Sharif family in form of political parties, sub-nationalists, social and print media, and television channels. On the other is the PML-N Media Cell, its allies, select journalists, TV channels and the Pakistan’s self-styled liberal class. Significant are the Orwellian Sheep that have stayed away from the affairs of the state and struggled at scant subsistence level, but seeing hope, may come to life.

How these self-styled liberals and guardians of democracy, whose only commonality is greed, coalesced thus far is a long story. Most of them belong to the once far left that conveniently switched poles after the collapse of USSR; some hide behind the garb of human rights activists; while others make their daily wages from the masters they serve. The message they try to convey is far beyond what is being seen in Panama. This message is ominous and it’s long term implications finds resonance with global geopolitics. They wish to perpetuate Pakistan’s misery on the reverse and internal fronts to a state of a vassal state. They wish to undo Jinnah’s Pakistan.

Based on a liberal and pacifist paradigm, champions of democracy advocate a European Union type sub-continent with free trade and movement with India. In other words they want to make international borders insignificant with no consideration to how India historically treats its neighbours; or how India is being projected by global actors to become the next hegemon of the region. To them the worst thing that even happened to Pakistan was its modern, strong and efficient armed forces that must be confined to a policing role in the country. It is not India but the defence establishment that is the enemy. To them many issues with India are a creation of Pakistan’s deep security state. They are insensitive to Indian atrocities, human right violations and contempt of international resolutions on Kashmir. They are least bothered that the Hindu right in India is on the rise at the cost of secular, liberal and minority elements in India. These so-called liberals echo contrasting themes to what Arundhati Roy or Sarmilla Bose might say in India.

Taking sides with the Sharifs suits their larger agenda. If the Sharif Empire falls, their objectives will be seriously jolted. Hence these diverse elements with contrasting agendas march hand and glove against what they call the establishment (Army); hence, the implied hints and propaganda towards collusion of Military establishment and Supreme Court of Pakistan. For them the military-judiciary nexus is bringing the downfall of democracy (read Sharif Empire). This is the theme that shall pollute waters in times to come with vengeance. This vengeance is visible in Prime Minister’s tone and his media persons.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to power rather contentiously in 2013. Analysts like Shamshad Ahmad (Ex-Foreign Secretary) predicted it to be a NRO 2 worse than NRO 1. Allegedly, this rise through Punjab was manipulated through a person who now heads the anti-corruption department of Punjab; the one that provides the house of Sharifs with military specific spins.

The only person who stood between Nawaz Sharif and his desires was Imran Khan. He understood his agenda and stalled him repeatedly. He impeded him with his 126 day dharna, judicial commission and public interest litigation in Supreme Court for nearly four years. The effects Government desired through Dawn Leaks and appointment of a COAS superseding two battle hardened generals failed. General Bajwa, a straight shooter by temperament, took no baits.

The government put a plan into place that included warmth with India, stalling a national counter terrorism policy, an economy built on unprecedented international and domestic borrowing and showpiece projects that seldom saw light of day. Consequent to Panama, his offshore businesses are now found to be doing business with India and Israel. Conspicuously absent are projects that give grassroots stability to Pakistan’s development. Agriculture sector and manufacturing have taken a tumble. All this was meant to make Pakistan pliant that means accepting India’s hegemon role in the region, weakening armed forces and giving up nuclear capability for dollars. What stood against these desires was the robustness of unregulated economy, some segments of media and the armed forces.

Kashmir is not an issue for this government. Ever since arrival of Prime Minister, despite family reunions, hugs and handshakes, nothing has gone right in Indian held Kashmir. A very aggressive carrot and stick policy is being followed against the local population. Line of Control is hot and Pakistan’s official response timid. It is no coincidence that whenever the ruling family is under pressure, terrorism and violations of LOC escalates.

There is no doubt that both Zarb-e-Azb and Rad-ul-Fassad are lonely wars of Pakistan’s security establishment within a sketchy National Action Plan. This war has no support from USA or its allies with a rant of do more against all groups. Today Pakistan has rejected US allegations against Pakistan on selectively targeting terrorists in Pakistan. Yesterday military spokesman rejected Kabul’s negative reaction to the operation that began in the Rajgal Valley to contain ISIS redoubts in Tora Bora. The spokesman said, “Afghan Ministry of Defence’s response to Operation Khyber IV is unwarranted and runs counter to Pakistan Army’s efforts for better Pak-Afghan coordination and cooperation”. This demonstrates how the armed forces are reacting to external and internal threats.

While the military is busy in winding up Pakistan’s violent internal front, there is not much it can do about a broad spectrum of non-kinetic threats within the internal front. That needs national cohesion, focus and a security policy that is nonexistent. Some media houses have continued to expose these threats and raise awareness levels. A cohesive national response is now warranted.

The fallout of the Panama Verdict will neither depend on how the ruling family (a name chosen by Maryam Nawaz) reacts, nor how the opposition parties make merry. The most crucial will be the silent majority of over 180 million people, the Orwellian Sheep who stay away from the electoral process. Will they submit to the political corrupt or realise that the power of their choice decides their future. If they make a correct choice today and not tomorrow, Pakistan would soon be on an upward trajectory. But this choice depends a lot on Pakistan’s apex Court.

This choice is Pakistan’s Bastille; Judicial McCarthyism. But before the Supreme Court gets to this business, it is important it ensures that all regulatory, enforcement and transparent mechanisms of the country are rid of political shadows. Given that politics and crime are intertwined in Pakistan’s political economy, the apex court must dig out corruption, initiate accountability cases against the guilty and ensure that justice is dispensed across the board.

As I wrote earlier, the spirit of this McCarthyism lies in the NAB Ordinance.  If this is not done, the bad and ugly will mislead the people.