The ouster of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges by the Supreme Court is a stark reminder of how an unfortunate country is trapped in a vicious circle that dashes dreams of democracy. In a system where no prime minister has ever been allowed to complete a full term and where real executive authority vests in a non-elected structure comprising the military establishment aided by allied judges, politicians, bureaucrats and news media, the will of Pakistan’s people continues to be thwarted in a repetitive pattern of intrigue, conspiracy and overthrow.
The resulting instability and volatility prevents genuine civilian power from emerging and makes a mockery of the concept of rule of law. Intervention of the judiciary in ousting prime ministers is becoming a trend, with both of Sharif ’s predecessors Yousuf Raza Gilani (2008-12) and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (2012-13) being disqualified for alleged contempt of court.
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