LAHORE   -   The country may have to face new tensions during the next few weeks because of the plans being prepared by some opposition parties to deal with situation their top bosses may have to face on account of allegations against them.

An accountability court is due to announce today its verdict in two references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Although nobody knows what the verdicts would be, instructions given to some PML-N leaders to bring workers with them leave no doubt that the former ruling party is expecting negative judgments.

Also, today a Joint Investigation Team is scheduled to submit its report on the fake bank accounts which, various TV channels insist, alleges that the PPP boss and former president Asif Ali Zardari has been involved in the transfer of money abroad.

It was being expected that the former president and his sister would be arrested because of their involvement in this scandal of billions of rupees, the extension in bails granted to the brother and sister for a sixth time, has averted the danger for some days.

This bail matter will be taken up again in the first week of January, after which it will be clear whether Zardari and Faryal Talpur will go behind the bars. The possibility of the government moving a higher forum for the cancellation of their bails cannot be ruled out.

The PPP also believes that bad days are ahead for their leaders. It is because of this premonition that important party leaders are issuing statements that they are not against accountability but would not tolerate what they call victimisation.

Statements issued by various PTI leaders that both Nawaz Sharif and Zardari would be in jail in the days to come are fuelling the situation.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Inamul Haq, for example, said on Sunday that Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif had mercilessly looted the country and their properties should be confiscated.

A federal minister ridiculed both the former president and prime minister for claiming to be innocent of allegations against them. “If the two are innocent, who has been looting the country for the past 15 years?” he asked.

About reports that the two parties may join hands against the government, the minister suggested that they should set up an alliance called “Thugs of Pakistan”.

Utterances of the ruling and opposition parties’ leaders apart, this is a difficult time for the country and in case the situation was not handled wisely, the consequences could be very disastrous. The economy would be affected very seriously.

The nation can rightly expect that the leaders of the two major opposition parties would trust the judicial system and abide by the law, no matter what the decisions in allegations against them. Thinking of starting protests or calling unfavourable verdict victimization is unbecoming of the leaders who had been holding the top most offices of the country. They should be role models of subservience to law so that others also follow them.

It is ridiculous that a former prime minister is distancing himself from the assets being attributed to him, but his two sons who he claims are the rightful owners have not appeared before the courts to endorse their father’s claim. They are absconders and, so far, have no intention to surrender to the law.

Former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who is Samdhi of Nawaz Sharif, is also an absconder living in London, and the government is trying to bring him to Pakistan through Interpol.

Where’s subservience to law? What should a common mortal do in such situations if this is the conduct of their leaders who have been all-powerful for a long time?

There is also no justification for the PPP to try to bring its party men on roads. If Mr Zardari is innocent, the courts cannot convict him or his sister. If he couldn’t be convicted in the past – and he proudly says that no allegation against him could be proved in any court of law – there’s no reason for any concern this time too.

If no charge is established against him, his popularity graph will go further up and the future prospects of his party would brighten up.

The PML-N and PPP leaders have been levelling very serious allegations against each other in the past. Although political expediency may bring the two parties closer to ward off the common threat to them, there will be no justification for any protest movement.

Already the economic condition of the country is not stable. Despite the fact that some friendly and brotherly countries have given bailout packages to Pakistan, the dollar-rupee parity has not changed. There are indications that dollar would further go up in the times to come. Even the IMF package in the next few months will not be able to improve the economic health of the country.

The government’s accountability resolve apart, it should also ensure that there are no protests on any pretext. Instability will bring to naught the results of positive steps it has taken so far.

The accountability process should be transparent and the NAB should also investigate the allegations against the prime minister’s sister and other PTI leaders the opposition parties raise fingers at.

Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to set up a Madinah-like state in Pakistan and there is no scope for any discrimination in such a state.