The Punjab CM Crisis


There ought to be nothing more excruciating than a king without a kingdom. To be crowned Chief Minister of Pakistan’s most precious jewel, not once but twice (remember the sensational Punjab Assembly session held at a ball’s throw to the actual venue); brag about winning the numbers game day in and day out and very in-your-facedly pull one over at the sagacious Chudhrys, only to lie down and wait for the seemingly never-ending countdown to be over with is not something Hamza Shahbaz might have anticipated. The Sharif family’s perpetually underrated black horse is all ready to don the shining armour but strangely, Punjab’s machinery refuses to pick his side. His unsurprising ascent to the centre stage has become a twisting, twirling caveat indeed. Amid the chaotic hullabaloo in Punjab Governor’s office where secretarial communication is sparking dismissals and the frontmen are raising eyebrows over the unusual affairs, the management has been mysteriously kicking the oath-taking can further down the road. That even the Lahore High Court’s directive has done little to restore the status quo and yet again, the red carpet was quietly rolled back is a sad commentary on how bruised egos tend to make a mockery of an entire institution.
Threats to pull off the stumps and destroy the pitch if not given the leeway to bat work well for stubborn children but countries cannot be run in this manner. It was the constitutional responsibility of President Arif Alvi to break the impasse and let Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani bestow the honours instead. After all, he is still serving as the head of state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, not someone doing inside jobs for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
To the much-cherished heartland’s great misfortune, its dreary sentence is far from over because while the rest of the country has gone back to business, it is doomed to function without a chief executive. For the fourth week in a row. Let that sink in. No matter how gross of a “sham” former prime minister calls Mr Shahbaz’s election, he has lost the upper hand to bring about any changes. Subsequently, his refusal to give any “endorsements” should have a nill impact on the proceedings of a country and the setting up of a viable, democratic order.
As the sidelined allies continue in their so-called crusade against the imported government, they have conveniently forgotten what uncomfortable bullies they have become. Their hysterical arguments have not stood any ground before the court of law before and are likely to fall flat the next time Pakistan’s judiciary decides to take up the reins for them.