Although the opposition has not come out with a decisive strategy to oust the government, the political temperatures in the country remain high. The PDM does not want to give the impression that it has been weakened and has been continuing the onslaught against the government.
In such circumstances, the meeting between PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif in London has kept the rumour mills abuzz that a deal with the authorities in on the anvil. Abbasi’s sudden departure raised eyebrows as he was placed on the Exit Control List and was facing corruption charges. He was permitted to visit the United States on the pretext on meeting his ailing sister but days later ended up in London to deliver a special message to the PML-N supremo.
There has been intense speculation on what message Abbasi has given to Nawaz Sharif. If the rumour mills are to be believed then a deal has been struck to bring an in-house change in Punjab and possibly the Centre. The formula has to be worked out but this is likely to take place after the Senate elections. The opposition, notably the PML-N, has not made its final decision whether it will participate in the elections and the highly-anticipated long march has been delayed for now.
It has also been speculated that Abbasi has been sent to deliver Shehbaz Sharif’s message to Nawaz Sharif to tone down the rhetoric and adopt a reconciliatory approach with state institutions. The PML-N president has been active even in custody and has been meeting Mehmood Durrani who is acting as an interlocutor with the establishment. Shehbaz has favoured a reconciliatory approach as compared to his elder brother who is on the offensive these days. It needs to be seen whether the former prime minister will heed the advice and soften his stance.
What is certain is it is unlikely to end the accountability process which has been long decried by the opposition neither will it pave the way for Nawaz Sharif’s return, nor does it seems that Imran Khan could be ousted any time soon. Whatever strategy the opposition forms should be within the limits of the constitution and not take any steps which are detrimental to democracy in the country.