- Things to watch out for
As we say goodbye to 2017, it is not only a farewell to another passing year but a year full of historical escapades. From the JIT to Nawaz Sharif’s eventual disqualification 2017 leaves behind its symbolic as well as historic importance.
The first half of 2017 brought with it the infamous JIT. Despite their conquering egos, the Sharifs had to bow down and appear before the JIT. Appearances were constantly marred with allegations of ill-treatment and pressurisation of witnesses. The celebratory hugs being exchanged on 20th April turned out to be further demeaning when the family finally comprehended the 540 page judgement. The JIT turned out to be their way in rather than a safe exit as they had first contemplated. Nevertheless the government servants worked diligently and succeeded in gathering a plethora of evidence against the entire family which in the times to come may become the crucial and defining factors for the family’s seemingly dark future.
In a more consequential stride in judicial history the Supreme Court finally handed down its verdict in the Panama Papers case. For the 3rd and most probably the last time Nawaz Sharif wasn’t allowed to complete his tenure as the chieftain of the country. Call it bad luck or his own miscalculated decisions, the 28th July judgement will continue to haunt the PML-N tiger for years to come. The party might not crash as some people speculated but for Nawaz, personally, the thought of never being able to wear the black sherwani again may be daunting. The tides turned on him swiftly and Sharif was on his way home without having the time to blink. Unlike 1999, this time he has been overthrown in a legal and constitutionally mandated manner. The dictates of the Hon’ble Lordships became the last nail in his political coffin.
In his desperate attempt to cling on to the folds of power, MNS launched a diatribe against the judiciary by constantly maligning the same. The GT road march however failed to produce the desired results. Rather than denting the judiciary, the Sharifs were further ridiculed when the judiciary in one of its most unorthodox dictates sufficiently answered “Mujhe Kyun Nikala”. Although the review decision isn’t one of the most strictly legal pieces of writing however it did rebut the elder Sharif to an extent.
Unlike 1999, this time he has been overthrown in a legal and constitutionally mandated manner. The dictates of the Hon’ble Lordships became the last nail in his political coffin
Even Maryam Nawaz’s constant outbursts against the judiciary did not bring about any lasting change. Further humiliation was faced when the same court cleared arch rival Imran and gave him a clean chit. Despite accusing the judiciary of rendering out pre-scripted judgements, the fact remains; Nawaz disqualified, Imran still qualified.
Safely put, 2017 turned out to be disastrous for Nawaz Sharif and the family. Have they learnt a lesson? This question is yet to be answered. From their immediate conduct and reaction it doesn’t seem so. However a lasting decision yet to be made by Sharif will effectively answer this question. What Nawaz needs to cautiously take into account is the timing of the ongoing scenario. The sub-judice trial before the accountability courts coupled with the demand for the younger Sharif’s resignation in light of the model town inquiry report are all dominant factors which the Sharif family needs to seriously take into consideration. A continuing diatribe against the state functionaries isn’t going to be beneficial for them under any circumstances.
On the contrary they should focus on the upcoming polls and enter 2018 with a cool headed approach towards things. In spite of the demeaning factors, the N league may still be able to maintain its importance in Punjab provided it plays its cards wisely. It is time for Nawaz Sharif to let go of the humiliation he faced and start the New Year with a fresh start. A more mature and wise start.
With lesser load shedding under his belt the party may still be able to save its neck if it goes into polls with a political rather than the confrontational approach it has recently adopted. Taking on two of the most important institutions at the same time is similar to the mistake Hitler made when he began his march towards Russia.
As things transpire, the new year may not be that bad for Nawaz as the previous one was. The closed door huddles ongoing in Saudi Arabia might open some doors for the family. The old Arab friends may save their neck one more time, though it seems slightly difficult this time round. Amidst this secret visit, the UK journal’s report stating that Nawaz is ready for exile once again seems nonsensical. Though it wouldn’t come as a surprise keeping in mind Nawaz’s history of bad decisions. The Mayfair apartments may seem cozy compared to Adiala jail which might become his permanent residence if things went south in the accountability court.
The unaccounted for wealth gathered by Nawaz and the family might land them into serious trouble. If vicious dictators around the globe can be dragged onto the very streets they once proudly strutted about, then it wouldn’t be unheard of if Nawaz was to be sentenced in the NAB references.
These are some of the factors which they need to consider in 2018. One wrong move and the upcoming year might turn out to be more brutal then the previous. In a nutshell this year is a make or break year for Nawaz and the family. Especially with the current political scenario his focus should be on timely polls. Only the general election can give him the breather he requires and nothing else. The uneducated masses of our country are capable enough of voting him back to power despite both Panama and Iqama.