Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said the PML-N was sabotaging the National Action Plan (NAP) by using it as a garb to target political rivals. Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali earlier this month warned the Sindh government to “not malign the federal government and Rangers” and accused the provincial government of trying to detrack the Karachi operation to save just one man; Dr Asim Hussain. The Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in return, addressing a rally, attacked Chaudhry Nisar Ali, saying “one man cannot overrule the Sindh Assembly resolution.”

If Sindh is at all peaceful, it is not because of the PPP or the MQM. The Rangers operation has definitely cleaned up Karachi, and this clean-up includes putting an end to political corruption. While it can be argued that there are many more pressing loopholes in our national security ideology that the NAP needs to plug, it does not mean that crimes and misdemeanours of politicians have to be put on the back burner, or that political corruption does not have a link with terrorism.

And while the motives of the ruling PML-N in supporting and extending the Rangers operation can be questioned, it does not mean that the Rangers are PML-N pawns. The Rangers are a professional military force, and it would be too much of a stretch to assume that the PML-N orders them around. Someone else does, and that is where the PPP should put its ire. In fact, Zardari did a few months ago and then had to leave the country until the effects of his tirade blew over. So now, new strategy: blame the government and the PML-N.

The PPP’s rhetoric is just that; rhetoric. The PPP is not the only party being harassed in the Karachi operation and Asim Hussain is not the only one with criminal charges; the MQM is under intense pressure as well. There is a nexus between terrorism and corruption, and it must be eradicated in Karachi. Where the PPP has is right is that there needs to be an operation in the Punjab as well. Terrorism and corruption are not a Sindhi phenomenon and the Punjab has been witness to many terrorist attacks, as well as extraordinary financial corruption. However, there is no comparison between how dangerous and unpleasant Karachi had become, compared to Lahore or Islamabad. The PML-N can sit pretty for now; the opposition due to the Rangers operation has been neutralised, and as the ruling party they are safe from scrutiny.