Hamid H Ganai Nawaz
The former prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and his Daughter Maryam Nawaz decided to return Pakistan on 13-July-2018 and to face Jail after both were convicted by a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on 06 July 2018 on Corruption Charges.
By returning to Pakistan to challenge the Court verdict that sent Father Daughter duo to Jail in a corruption Case, both have clinched a moral high ground just before July 25 General Elections.
The move is likely to have a considerable impact on the Pakistan Elections since Sharif has tried to establish that he is not an absconder even though he could justifiably stay back in London by side of his critically ill wife Kulsum Nawaz.
The fact that He and His Daughter to instead do Jail time in Pakistan may help her party and evoke a sympathy wave for them and strength their party PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz), which may pollsters have projected that PML-N is going to be single Largest party but short of Majority and only marginally ahead of Imran Khan’s PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) in the general elections.
Though in the short run the decision will empower Nawaz’s brother and President PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif who is leading the party, it also ensured that the Sharif and his daughter Maryam remain relevant in Pakistan’s Politics and secure their political future in a country which is unforgiving towards its exiled leaders. The Sharif’s will most likely get a bail from a Higher Court and return to their Constituents and claiming a victory against the Pakistan’s powerful security establishment which Nawaz Sharif has openly lashing out at. But establishment agencies and Judiciary are all against the bail of Nawaz Sharif & his daughter Maryam Nawaz at this point of time.
In Pakistan where military’s blessings and approval of establishment agencies are very important for any political party to survive, Sharif will project himself as a crusader for democracy and an Independent leader who was persecuted for defying the army’s line from last couple of years.
As of now establishment agencies and most of the media houses have putting their weight behind so called poster boy Imran Khan and his party PTI and are making every effort for his victory in the General Elections.
Pakistan establishment agencies are against the former PM Nawaz Sharif and his party PMLN and invested a lot to keep his party out of Power in the July 25th general elections. What is happening in Pakistan is the manifestation of an intense battle between the civilian political leadership and the military – Intelligence Establishment. Pakistan’s Military which has ruled the country over 33 years in its seven decades existence, sees Nawaz Sharif and his party PML-N as a chief threat to its strangle hold over Pakistan’s security and foreign policy. The Generals in Rawalpindi’s GHQ are deeply suspicious of Nawaz Sharif because they saw, in the former PM’s attempt to establish primacy of the civilian leadership, a mortal threat to their hold over levers of perpetual power. This Suspicion was Exacerbated by Nawaz Sharif’s repeated attempts as a three time PM to bring some sought of stability in the India-Pakistan relationship, because good India-Pakistan relationship and ties reduces Pakistan’s Powerful army’s importance.
Therefore the battle against the Nawaz Sharif was taken to its logical conclusions by the Establishment Agencies by Co-opting the Judiciary and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) so that the silent coup get judicial sanction and now army and establishment agencies are doing everything within its Power to neutralize the threat posed by Nawaz Sharif and his still popular political Party PML-N in Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz have played a master stroke by returning Pakistan and do Jail in Pakistan during the general elections which has surely worried the Pak establishment agencies. How much the Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother and former Chief Minister of Pakistan’s largest province Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif and other prominent leaders of PML-N will garner the sympathy wave from voters and capitalize it during the last phase of election, only time will tell after July 25 general elections for which we have to wait and watch.
But one thing is clear that there is a neck to neck competition between the PML-N & PTI at the national level and Zardarie’s PPP is out of race. The PML-N hopes to win control of parliament again even though Nawaz Sharief & Maryam Nawaz are in prison for corruption charges and emotional messages of Maryam Nawaz on social media can garner a full sympathy wave in favour of PML-N particularly in Punjab province.
Tried & sentenced in absentia, Nawaz & Maryam returned to the country this month to serve sentence hoping to revitalize the campaign before elections. Now led by Shabaz Sharief ,the party is focusing on its economic success , promises of energy & infrastructure investment especially 11000 Mega watt power capacity increased in last five years, CPEC by China but these achievements have been marginalized in the election campaign and voters attention has been diverted to other issues by establishment agencies. The so called poster boy of establishment agencies Imran Khan & his party PTI have had some success at provisional level but have never been able to convert it into national level. This time things are very different, not less because Imran Khan 67, is believed to have full support of military & establishment agencies and also have support of some religious political parties. But Imran Khan has been accused both of lacking a coherent political philosophy and of sympathizing with extremists. The Rawalpindi’s GHQ is waiting the verdict of Jully, 25th. And will it be a general election for which opposition parties have already leveled serious allegations for changing the peoples verdict in favor of Imran Khan’s PTI, the July, 26 will tell the truth what exactly was behind the seen and was it an Election or Selection for a par favorable Parliament.