There is something of a kerfuffle going on over the future of the leadership of the current ruling political party (or family depending on perspective) and it now embraces Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar. He is decidedly huffed at what he sees as a potential usurping in what is being described as ‘the chain of command’, changes within, that may be triggered by the standing aside of the sitting Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. He is said to have been assured “no minister ‘junior’ to him” would be nominated in the event of Nawaz Sharif moving aside. The assurance was said to have come from a no lesser source than Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who it will be recalled enjoys a close family relationship with the PM. This spat offers an interesting insight into the machinations of power and particularly succession within the politics of Pakistan; we feel it safe to assume that this hierarchical passing of the baton of power prevails across political parties and is not limited to the PML-N.
There is a herd of Big Beasts that have circulated the political firmament for many years, with little by way of infusion of new blood to a pool of aging dynasts familial or otherwise. The parties have no incubators of new talent and when on the rare occasion such as this arise — a change at the top — there are rhino-sized egos immediately at play. In this instance the succession plan has been holed below the waterline with the First Daughter having been tripped up by a font and rendered inoperative — and there is no Plan B beyond a brotherly reshuffle that would see the Punjab chief minister doing a swap.
The sense of entitlement being expressed within the upper echelons of the PML-N will read across to all the parties all of which have with a single exception elderly man at the top of the pyramid. The single exception has an ego only slightly smaller than Alpha Centauri and is unchallengeable anyway. None of this bodes well for the political future which is currently looking like governance being delivered from the lounge of an elderly person’s home. We await developments.