Opposition parties, PTI in particular, are finally coming to the realisation that pressure from the Panama Leaks scandal will not be fully felt by the government unless the opposition exerts it in unison. Strange that this was an afterthought, because of what the delay in uniting has cost them. The ruling party, though late, made some very acceptable changes to the idea of the judicial commission. But the opposition must stay true to its name, and oppose.

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The opposition is mostly justified in rejecting the Terms of Reference (ToRs), as judicial experts claim that the scope of the ToRs formulated by the government are too wide-ranging, which makes the commission’s job tough. In addition to this, former CJP Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, also told The Nation that any recommendations the commission will make to the government will be non-binding, and hence almost pointless. The estimated time for the completion of this monumental task will be more than just a few months, based on the extremely broad ambit of the investigation. The opposition should have been consulted for the formation of this commission, and the government should look to bring it on board now, before more fuel is added to the fire against the PML-N.

PTI currently finds itself in an uncomfortable position, because it cannot afford another misguided adventure that yields no results, but at the same time, the party is finally starting to realise that the government will not be cornered until more parties join the cause. A tricky situation such as this normally leads to forsaking important party principles. Seeking an alliance with PPP, a party accused of corruption on countless occasions by all and sundry, including the ever-righteous PTI is doing just that. The Sindh anti-corruption movement announced by PTI seems to be the counterbalance against any potential alliance, however. But Shah Mehmood Qureshi has already approached Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and assured him of not targeting the Sindh government or PPP in the Sindh drive.

So let’s be clear, this is all just politics of the opposition rather than a united move to clean up corruption. The PTI-PPP partnership will not last too long. With reports of the government having planned for the eventuality of the opposition refusing the ToRs, it is clear that PML-N will be looking to divide the opposition to nullify the pressure. The government has already played its first hand, and is probably ready for its next move.