An enemy orapolitical opponent always waits for the right time to strike, exploit the vulnerabilities of the opponent and to embarrass or denigrate him. The moving of the identical motions in the national assembly by MQM and JUI-F seeking de-seating of PTI MNAs under clause (2) of the Article 64 of the constitution for being absent from the Assembly for 40 consecutive days without leave, is a classic example of this phenomenon. They did not do it when the PTI leader standing on the container used derogatory and abusive language against their leaders every night during the sit-in and unabashedly hit all the political leaders below the belt and even questioned the legitimacy of the parliament. Now that the storm has subsided and the PTI stands mortified after the findings of the Judicial Commission(JC) that declared the 2013 general elections as a true reflection of the public mandate, they have made their move to settle the score with PTI. Both the parties have done so notwithstanding the fact that it would be very difficult to get the motions carried in view of the PML-N, PPP and other parties like ANP being opposed to the move.

The only purpose that would be served if the motions are debated or put to vote, is that it would afford an excellent opportunity to both these parties to have a swipe at the PTI and create more embarrassment for it. The consequences of the eventuality of motions voted upon in the assembly would be that the animosity between PTI and these two parties would crystallize into a permanent hostility, leading to unending duels and rowdy scenes in the parliament in the future; a scenario which the country cannot afford at this critical juncture of the history that demands impregnable unity among the political forces to tackle the egregious challenges as well as to reform the governance and electoral systems of the country.

In my considered view the PML-N being the ruling party, especially the Prime Minister has shown grace and utmost humility in victory after the verdict of the JC. In his address to the nation after the verdict of the JC he urged the need to move on by avoiding focusing on trivial issues. He even rejected the proposal regarding de-seating of PTI MNAs in a high level consultative meeting of the cabinet and the party leaders held on 27th, though some of the party hawks favoured the idea. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar echoed these sentiments in the parliament and urged the need for settling the issue through a consultative process and requested the Speaker to postpone voting on the motions for a week, which he readily obliged. As a follow up the Prime Minister convened a meeting of the parliamentary leaders to discuss the issue and find a way out. He has formed a four member committee to engage the movers of the motions in a dialogue and convince them of the desirability of withdrawing them. Hopefully the PML-N would be able to dissuade MQM and JUI-F from pressing ahead with their motions and if it does, it would predict well for the future of democracy in the country and paying unruffled attention to the more pressing issues like fighting terrorism and reforming the governance and electoral systems of the country through collective wisdom of all the political entities.

It was indeed satisfying to note that the PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi appreciated Prime Minister’s decision to move ahead and his desire that the PTI members should play their role in the parliament. He also complimented Ishaq Dar for his reasonable stance on the issue. The decision of the Prime Minister to keep the PTI part of the parliament is very pragmatic and visionary in regards to ensuring political stability in the country and the removal of all the impediments in the way of strengthening democracy and effecting necessary changes in the governance and electoral systems and above all firming up unanimous national responses to the myriad challenges facing the country.

It would have been a welcome move on part of Imran Khan if he also had returned to the parliament after the verdict of the JC as per his given commitments in the MoU signed with the government on the setting up of the JC and his repeated public statements to accept the verdict of the Commission without any qualms. Regrettably his reaction on the report was in complete disregard to what he committed and has been saying, representing yet another somersault by him. A campaign unleashed in the social media against the report, the members of the JC and the institution of Judiciary by the supporters of the PTI is also in the bad taste and would in no way help the cause of the party, whose credibility and political standing has been severely dented after the JC findings. The best way to salvage the damage done is to accept the ground realities and play a positive and constructive role in the task of national building. For that Imran Khan will have to climb down from his self-erected podium of self-righteousness, abandon his delusional hubris and get rid of the acute narcissism he suffers from. He needs serious introspection and getting rid of the Lotus-Eaters and political vultures around him who played a significant role in misleading him and precipitating public perceptions about him acting as a Trojan Horse for the forces inimical to democracy, hell-bent to destabilize the system.

Politics is an art of the possible which requires flexibility, foresight and wisdom. It is said that wise men learn from the experience of others and fools from their own. If Imran fails to learn from his own mistakes and indiscretions then it would tantamount to a drift into the realm of insanity. He needs to recognize and accept the reality that the PML-N enjoys massive public support and the mandate given to it by the people in the 2013 General Elections, contrary to his perceptions, was beyond any reproach. This is also amply demonstrated by the recent by-elections in Punjab for the National Assemblies and the provincial Assembly seat from Kamoke where the PML-N candidates have returned with big margin against PTI candidates, recently held cantonment board elections and the decisions of the Election Tribunals on the petitions filed by the PTI NA candidates. Sooner this reality sinks into his mind the better for him and his party. It would make a better politician out of him capable of making a difference in the future.