The axe over the Dawn story about civil-military relations has finally fallen, and has resulted in the sacking of the Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed. The official accounts state that, “Evidence available so far points to a lapse on part of the information minister, who has been directed to step down from the office to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry.”

The statement is very telling; it indicates that an inquiry is not yet complete, which means that unfortunately, this a classic case of finding a scapegoat to satisfy the bloodlust of those looking for heads to roll. And if we keep working along the lines of this rationale, does this also mean that the actual ‘leak’ has not been identified? If that is the case, has this move really achieved any real purpose? Is this a measure to appease in the lead up to the November 2 protest?

While the government is busy unravelling and sacrificing its own people, opposition parties have ample opportunity to gloat over this, and PTI Chief Imran Khan has not wasted a second to imply that this is a direct consequence of his protest politics; a laughable assertion. To the benefit of the PTI, the leak coincided well with the upcoming protest and the ruling party is trying to cover all the bases that it can. It is the government that comes out looking guilty in this whole situation, but not guilty enough for the PM to resign, as Imran Khan wants.

The news story was seen as an insult in the corridors of power, it was vehemently dismissed as fiction, and yet here we have someone convicted of a crime that never really took place. The problem is, that reportedly, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other prominent names have also been mentioned – there are reports that Pervaiz Rashid’s Principle Officer of Information, Rao Tehseen, will be following him out the door.

And it does not end here. More high-profile names in the ruling party have been thrown around as potential candidates to join Pervaiz Rashid as culprits. The timing of Khawaja Asif’s visit to Dubai is being viewed with suspicion and other provincial and federal lawmakers are under the microscope for potential involvement.

The composition of the inquiry committee, which includes senior IB, MI and ISI officers and is also very telling; is the establishment being given a free hand “to apportion the blame, identify interests and motives and expose all those responsible for this episode of stern action in the national interest”? And this statement should tell us that this witch-hunt has only begun, and will end when someone is made an example of. But let us be clear that this is not because of the PTI. This is the PML-N itself, scoring own goals, cutting down its own loyal members, needing no enemies to make itself look unstable. Achieving all this it all on its own. No thanks to Imran Khan. Sorry, PTI.