THERE is much pragmatism in SCBA President Aitzaz Ahsan's advice to PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif to plead his case against the appeals filed against his candidature for the June 26 by-elections. His nomination papers, earlier accepted by the returning officers, were later challenged, at which Mian Nawaz had decided not to go ahead with his election plans as he was cynical about the fact that the PCO judges would hear his case. He thought pleading before the PCO judges might affect his credibility afterwards. But the assurance of Mr Ahsan that it was totally a different issue, which would have no impact on his candidature, was in a way right. Saying that he would appoint a lawyer who would fight Mr Sharif's case, Mr Ahsan highlighted the fact that the legal fraternity itself did not consider the PCO judges legal, yet it was in the greater national interest that they were attending their courts. And he has a point when he says so. Though on the one hand there is this lawyer's campaign against the President's actions, especially those taken after the November 3 Emergency, calling them invalid, on the other the legal fraternity has been attending the courts ever since. It might appear as a tacit approval to that set-up, which looks like a contradiction, yet there is substance in the argument that destruction of the whole system is not their aim and thus there is nothing wrong with their appearance in the courts. It was only to address public grievances that the legal community was appearing before the courts. In support of this view, Mr Justice (retd) Tariq Mahmood, while talking to a private TV channel, said that the courts and hospitals had to be functioning in every situation. Seen in this context, there is much logic in Mr Ahsan's advice to Mian Nawaz to plead his case in the high court headed by the PCO judges. The PML-N's Ministers too for that matter had taken oath from the President, though registering their protest by wearing black armbands. And its Punjab ministers followed suit. Realism was and still remains the need of the hour. The PML-N leadership must understand that the way the current political landscape is taking shape, it would be more appropriate to participate, rather than take a backseat. Important as political stability is, a political vacuum should also be avoided. It is hoped that Mian Nawaz would reflect on the need for fighting the election, discuss the matter with his party leaders and give a go-ahead to Mr Ahsan to appoint a lawyer of his choice to defend his case before a court of law.