THE political movements in the country are lending an air of confusion to an environment that is already full of uncertainty, strange expectations and fear. All this at a time when the devastation the floods have wrought has to be dealt with and people’s homes and lives restored. However, the government and opposition seem more interested in political point scoring than seriously resolving the multiple problems confronting the country at this crucial juncture.
The main opposition party, the PML-N, continues to send out mixed signals even as it finds itself increasingly in confrontation with the government on issues. A case in point is the draft National Accountability Commission bill. The PPP-drafted bill is weak and ineffectual, effectively providing protection to corrupt politicians. The PML-N has sought four important clauses to be included in the bill. These include the appointment of a retired high court judge as the chairman of NAC and comprehensive mechanisms to deal with the ill-gotten wealth stashed abroad or taken out for investment overseas. The government from the start has shown itself to be unwilling to have a strong accountability set-up put in place and, as the PML-N has discovered it was simply bluffing its way past their objections and demands. The very fact that the Law Minister as well as the Minister of State for Law were absent from the National Assembly’s relevant Committee meeting showed the cavalier attitude of the government to the whole accountability issue – which led to a walk-out by the PML-N members. But such protests achieve little beyond making a moral point. The opposition needs to confront the government on these vital issues within the parliament. After all, such confrontations and challenges are what make democracy vibrant and strong. -nation