Need to return home, also to do soul searching
Issuing appeals to the PML-N workers from London to come out in his support won’t help Nawaz Sharif. The past experience shows the party cannot be mobilized if the leadership is cooling its heels abroad. Whatever spontaneous protests took place in the country on Friday including those in Lahore, the party’s erstwhile stronghold, indicated that little fight was left in the PML-N. Nawaz has to be in the country, irrespective of whether he is free or in jail, to mobilise the party. Again, being a public leader Nawaz Sharif has to be seen to be law abiding. For this he has to return within the period prescribed by law to seek bail disregarding the state of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s health, irrespective of the pain that it will cause.
Nawaz Sharif has to be ready to face the situation on ground which may not be to his liking. Party candidates anxiously wait for Nawaz to lead the party’s campaign, a task none in the PML-N other than he can perform, but they want him also to tone down his anti-establishment rhetoric. They would hesitate to do anything that leads to their disqualification or endangers their electoral prospects. None is presently willing to enter into confrontation with the judiciary or the army. Nor would the opposition countenance any move that might lead to the postponement of the elections. Nawaz will acquire manoeuvring space only if the PML-N manages to secure major gains on July 25.
There is a dire need on the part of Nawaz Sharif to review how he got himself into the morass. Many think he should have chosen between doing politics and building a business empire. Later, he could have secured himself by getting in place a truth and reconciliation commission soon after assuming power, coming clean along with other parties and institutions over whatever had been done in the past. Nawaz also needs to reconsider whether the strategy adopted after the SC disqualified him was the best way out of the predicament.