Tuesday February 20, 2024

Self-destructive path

February 06, 2023

After unwarranted and baseless remarks by the PTI chairman and Sheikh Rasheed accusing Asif Ali Zardari of attempting to have Imran Khan assassinated, the latter has wound up under arrest for the asinine accusations. Now, Rasheed finds himself facing more charges for making immoral remarks against Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto. I am no fan of the PTI’s campaign to slander any politician, party or institution that gets in its way and I believe this strategy has done tremendous damage to the party’s reputation and prospects.

However, it would be to naïve to assume that the PPP does not spot a political opportunity behind these inflammatory remarks and is milking them for all they are worth. I do not deny that the PTI and Sheikh Rasheed ought to be held accountable for their remarks, only that accountability is often used in a much politicized manner in Pakistan. The PPP should know better than anyone how disastrous the long-term consequences of sending opponents to jail can be. Nor will such moves blunt the PTI narrative, which only appears to get more powerful the more its opponents and the state try to crack down on it.

Gulsher Panhwer