It has been one, long, year for the Sharif family. Let’s take stock. In February, Nawaz Sharif had to step down from his position as PML-N party President after a Supreme Court order. His brother Shehbaz took over, declaring him ‘Quaid for life.’ In April, the elder Sharif was told his disqualification was for life. In July, a couple of weeks before the elections, Nawaz and daughter Maryam were handed 10 and 7 year long prison sentences while they were tending the ailing Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London. A week later, they came back to Pakistan to be arrested. Maryam’s arrest also disqualified her from the upcoming election, robbing the Sharifs on an heir. While the two were still in jail, the family was hit by the passing of Kulsoom Nawaz. A week after that, having attended the funeral on parole, there was some respite as the Islamabad High Court let them off the hook. Just when all of the Sharifs seemed to be out and about, Mian Shehbaz Sharif, the sitting leader of the opposition, was remanded by NAB. He is yet to be charged and yet to be released. Come December and the elder Sharif is back behind bars, this time in Kot Lakhpat over the Al-Azizia reference.
With both brothers in custody, Hamza Sharif forbidden from boarding planes and Maryam quiet and somber since the passing of her mother, it has been a long fall. That said, the League is still the second largest force in parliament and the largest party in the Punjab. And the League, is still very much the Sharifs. With Mian Shehbaz managing to chair his first meeting as PAC chairman and Maryam Nawaz agonisingly slowly turning up the heat on her twitter after months, the Sharifs have got some bite left in them yet.