NRO | Pakistan Today


Hazardous for government & opposition alike

A plenty of people were struck by cupid last year but simply because they were introvert, they spent Valentine’s Day alone. They knew what their untold soulmates meant to them, but unfortunately, they never expressed it. Some of them might get involved with somebody else or some even enjoyed their moments of nuptial bliss already.

While the remaining were preparing wedding vows, the introvert is sitting somewhere alone. Earlier he had hid feelings of love and now he is hiding feelings of losing an unannounced soulmate. Same is the case with Nawaz Sharif, his unfinished narrative which he probably thought was obvious to understand left most of PML-N supporters scratching their heads. The sources close to the family know it very well that Nawaz and Shahbaz may sound like two arrows in the opposition directions, but they are attached to one single string, that shows infinity of their strength.

When Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, a controversy had started that he doesn’t want to place his younger brother in his spot. But Nawaz was planning to save Shahbaz for the premium post in the coming general elections, and Shahbaz also wanted to finish his unfinished agenda in Punjab before he takes a step ahead. Till date, the only thing that helped Nawaz Sharif survive is his family equation. Nawaz loves Shahbaz more than he loves Maryam, Hamza is Shahbaz’s favourite child but he loves Nawaz more than he loves Hamza, whereas Nawaz is dearer to Hamza than what is Shahbaz to Hamza.

The family understands the bonding, people around them understand it but either black sheep in the party or the narrative built by the opposing parties added fuel to the fire. On July 13, the ex-Chief Minister of Punjab had led a rally solely; it was undoubtedly the biggest of his political career. What made it more special was, he was leading it from the front without his elder brother but the key team of Nawaz Sharif was with Shahbaz Sharif. Every member who mattered was in the loop, although mobile connections were off but there were a few people who worked as messengers. They used to leave the rally and reach a nearby spot where they could find signals to connect with the Sharif on board. One of them was a senior senator from the party. The orders were given from the plane to avoid reaching the airport.

The crowd was fully charged and Sharif brothers had realized that if the rally crosses Fortress Stadium or tries reaching the airport, it would result in a clash that could cost human lives. If any citizen loses his life in such a scenario, blame would have gone to the party not the state. PML-N was neither in a condition to take that risk nor was it wise to put human lives at stake. So, the decision was mutual, taken in the interest of their party but it was never made public. Neither Nawaz Sharif nor Shahbaz Sharif spoke of the decision rather preferred keeping it a mystery. This gave enough space to conspiracy theorists within the party or opposition political parties, then what happened is what usually happened to introvert lovers.

It is clear from the statements made by PTI that they are not willing to give any NRO, and same is evident from the statements of opposition parties that they are not looking to avail it.

Same theorists are of the view that release of opposition leader on bail is a deal; for instance if that’s true then people who thought he won’t be released ever, don’t they think it would have been extra-judicial arrest, and wouldn’t it have been proved as political victimization? Because in routine cases, even people accused of murder are granted bails and if a political leader doesn’t get bail after over 4 months then wouldn’t it prove otherwise?

Neither arrest was planned nor the release was planned and critics in general and members of PTI in particular need not to correlate the two with the deal. It is clear from the statements made by PTI that they are not willing to give any NRO, and same is evident from the statements of opposition parties that they are not looking to avail it. If Sharif brothers fly abroad for the sake of treatment but do not return, it shall never go into their favour. Sharif brothers have come much ahead of the phase when we are in the “mode of more”.

The ultimate beneficiary here is the government, but the way government is playing “we won’t give any NRO”, they are getting the burden of this decision off their back. PTI wants them gone without affecting their own prestige. Now, those who think the establishment is behind the deal, it is actually foolish to consider establishment’s role behind it.

The government need not celebrate arrests of the political parties, government need not mourn the release of political leaders, government need not make fun of health issues with Nawaz Sharif, government need not waste time thinking the younger Sharif has ditched his brother, government needs the opposition right here in the country. PTI during the last constitutional tenure proved to be the best opposition ever, they were always on the tail of PML-N and it resulted in some of the key development reforms in the country during 2013-18. Now, PTI needs the same opposition, it is for the sake of PTI itself and for the sake of people of Pakistan.

Enem Ali Abbas

The writer holds an MBA degree from UET, Lahore. He is a marketing and communication specialist with 12-year-experience of media and advertising.