Al Jazeera reported that even though it might be tempting for PML-N to use the ‘memogate’ controversy against their political rivals, this temptation too may be part of a larger game being played.
Eyeing an opportunity, Pakistan’s media and opposition have gone into overdrive. The biggest opposition party is organising demonstrations and the former Pakistan prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has said he “easily” believes that memo was written by Haqqani.
But is another game taking place here? Nawaz Sharif is under pressure in his own home base of the Punjab. Once a shoo-in for the next government, his party has taken a hammering from former cricket player turned politician Imran Khan.
Khan’s recent rallies have drawn huge crowds and many observers are beginning to wonder whether Sharif can continue to count on his political constituency.
So it’s in his and his party’s interest to ramp up the language and use the media to demand action against those involved.
But in doing so, he could be taking the first step in toppling the government before elections are due to be held in 2013.
Nawaz Sharif may see ‘memogate’ as an opportunity to improve his parties odds in the upcoming elections, but he should consider the bigger picture.
Surely certain parties have not forgotten when Nawaz snubbed the military in May by refusing to attend the Army’s private briefing, or Nawaz’s telling DG ISI Pasha at September’s All Party Conference that “where there is smoke there is fire” regarding American allegations of agency support for militant groups.
Nawaz Sharif knows too well what games can be played when the military decides it is tired of a civilian government. As ‘memogate’ enters the next innings, he should be careful not to become a pawn in the latest game being played. It’s not Nawaz Sharif who if favoured for the trophy this time.