- The Age of Sharif is over!
Verdict announced. Sentences awarded. Safdar arrested. The Sharifs have formally stepped into the folds of the foreseen trouble. Where on one hand Nawaz has an ailing wife swaying between life and death, on the other a prison cell eagerly awaits his arrival. He might play the strong front for the media but on the inside his woes definitely are over burdening him with worry. The once king of the country all set to be a prisoner in the same nation that once roared in his support.
Although the lion still roars, but if compared to the past this one merely meows like a cat. Isolated events of protests were witnessed following the verdict. The widely predicted rallies and riots against the verdict remained mere thoughts. The situation might be different once Nawaz and Maryam land in Pakistan and are subsequently arrested. Yet, what the N leaguers perceive is not going to materialise.
An important factor that the supporters fail to appreciate is that there is a significant amount of difference between the episode of 1999 and the present day scenario. In the past, a military dictator overthrew a democratic regime and ousted Nawaz. Even political rivals stood in support because that was a fight for a cause, not for a man. It was a fight for democracy and the sanctity of the constitution and a protest against its abrogation. Whereas the fight of today is to save the ill-gotten wealth of one man. Wealth accumulated over the past 30 years. The man and his family who have allegedly looted and plundered the wealth of Pakistan await the support of the countrymen and in this attempt try to cast a narrative that they are being singled out and targeted.
Let’s be clear for once the media is free and so is the judiciary. Each single development of the Avenfield trial was being covered on national news. Every citizen is aware that Nawaz and Co were provided ample opportunity to present their defense. Documents, money trial or any other piece of evidence that would vindicate their stance was eagerly awaited. Yet, no document surfaced which would ratify the family’s stance.
Pakistanis are not in a state of war with the military establishment or the judiciary. Nor is the “innocent” Sharif family being targeted
The elder Sharif and his daughter gave fiery speeches openly suggesting that they will indeed be convicted. Such surety was deployed with the aim of securing sympathy from day one. Supporters and workers made to believe that the Sharif family is being targeted for taking a hardline against the establishment. Both attempted to convince their supporters to recognise the thumping of the boots underneath the strike of the hammer.
A brave and valiant attempt. But feeble and preposterous at the same time. Despite the narrative, both father and daughter were well aware of the consequences. It was an attempt to charge up the crowds before the verdict. But as I said earlier, this fight isn’t for a cause, it is for one man, his family, his wealth, his lies and his superiority. Nawaz Sharif is a source of intoxication for some of his workers notably Maryam Aurangzeb. However, overdosing on this intoxication may be fatal for them, as it appears at the moment.
If we turn to look at what history teaches us about these events certain similarities are seen. Even the greatest rulers of in history, who ruled their countries for decades, were whisked into air as if they never existed. Ask the Libyans about Qaddafi. Or the Iraqis about Saddam. Even the Iranians about the Shah. These formidable leaders met their fate in a manner one wouldn’t even desire for their enemies. One was hanged in the same Iraq that he once viciously ruled. Another was beaten to death on the very streets of Libya he once strutted about proudly. The third wasn’t even allowed burial ground in the same Iran where once women danced to his will and pleasure.
Every man will be first held accountable in this world before moving on the next. Though in much better circumstances, Nawaz Sharif is seeing his end in the same country his family ruled up until very recently. The same Lahore which the Sharif family considers personal property might host him in one of the jail cells of Kot Lakhpat. Or even the Islamabad he entered as elected king in 2013 might do the honors in Adiala.
The second most important thing remains is the upcoming election and the command of the party. The younger Sharif has miserably failed to give the campaign the momentum which Nawaz always did. Singing to the applause of his workers and commenting on the paan eating people of Karachi isn’t going to steer the ship towards victory. Similarly, his son remains and unimpressive leader not worthy of leading from the front. Maryam Nawaz, despite all our reservations, did build a narrative which she tried cross selling and also succeeding in convincing some pseudo intellectuals.
Shahbaz is stumbling in the political arena for now. His quest for gaining momentum on the basis of his performance in Lahore is deemed to fail.
Pakistanis are not in a state of war with the military establishment or the judiciary. Nor is the “innocent” Sharif family being targeted. The beloved family from Raiwind was accorded numerous opportunities to vindicate its stance and account for the wealth they sit on and they distressfully failed in doing so. For this very reason, they have been sentenced to serve time in prison. It is the people’s money that bought those flats. Their precious money which erected the palace in Raiwind.
Do yourselves a favour and see these leaders for what they actually are. For the first time in the history of this nation, stand up against corruption be it Nawaz, Zardari or even Imran. Throw out all those who suck out the blood of this nation in a thirst to build their empires.
In spite of all prophecies, the game is over for Nawaz Sharif. His long-due time has come. His endgame stands right at his doorstep. The age of the Sharifs is over.