Yet another resurrection of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (MNS)is currently under way. It is believed that mystery is always mischief. Operating from the safety of Avenfield Apartments in London the three times Prime Minister is now getting ready for a fourth term. In the USA, individuals with immoveable property are considered ‘ sitting ducks ‘ as they can be questioned about their assets any time.
In the case of MNS the ownership of his place of living in an expensive neighborhood is not known. There is no money trail nor does anyone seems to know the current platelets count of the once close-to-death political personality of Pakistan. One of his doctors is of Kashmiri origin who practices in New York while the other of Sri Lankan roots resides in London and is known for issuing medical certificates of all kinds. He seems to be out of reach of the courts in the Islamic Republic. When the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) tried to corner him, the court came under attack. Their ‘Lordships’ had to run for cover to save their lives. Finally the ‘ Tarar Touch ‘ was employed to buy the judges and the CJP was sent home. Next came the turn of President Farooq Leghari and finally the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was shown the door. The power of money and influence are fully exploited by the Sharif Clan of Gawalmandi.
In the land of the pure there have been unflinching efforts to create an ‘Evil Empire’. While Ayub Khan, the first usurper, launched Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi to derail the democratic order, MNS was introduced by Zia-ul-Haq, the third tormenter of the nation.
Since then there has been no looking back, and every civilian institution has been hit hard. To strengthen democracy, Bhutto launched his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 1967 as a left-of-centre progressive political force. In the 1970s Bhutto had to struggle against the generals, judges and bureaucracy; today Imran Khan (IK) has taken on the generals, judges, bureaucracy and Sharifs together with their external mentors. It is an uphill task to restore the republic and its vital institutions.
It is time to unchain the nation for the republic to emerge. With the retirement of the current COAS in November this year, the old order (Ayub to Bajwa) must come to an end signaling a new Dawn of Democracy. In the promised land the people of Pakistan have suffered enough at the hands of the Establishment.
In the 1990s, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the stalwart of the establishment played a key role in first deposing Benazir Bhutto and then installing MNS as the Prime Minister. In his quest to build his ‘Evil Empire’, MNS decided to revolt against his second political mentor after Zia the founder had perished. GIK dismissed the government of MNS using the draconian 58 (2b) Zia amendment but to the surprise of the establishment his administration was restored. The power of money and influence prevailed.
To resolve the ensuing power struggle between the President and the PM, the COAS intervened and both were sent home. It did not end here, and MNS returned for a second time in 1997 with an absolute two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. Instead of using his strength to strengthen democracy he introduced a bill to declare himself ‘Ameer-ul-Momineen’ or ‘Khalifa’. As leader of the opposition in the Senate, Comrade Aitzaz Ahsan came in the way and the constitutional amendment was blocked.
When he tried to hijack the plane carrying the then COAS he was deposed in October 1999. In his third stint in power with another absolute majority in the 2013 manipulated electoral contest the ‘Empire Building’ continued. Dawn Leaks was the final straw that strained the relations with the establishment. It was a blatant misuse of authority that should not have gone unpunished. Then came the ‘Panama Leaks’ in which the hidden assets of the Sharifs’ were exposed. Finally MNS was disqualified by the highest court of the land.
For decades Pakistan has been a security state. The armed forces remain the only functional institution in the republic. In his insatiable desire to build his ‘Evil Empire’, MNS has clashed with all the Army Chiefs after his ‘Political Daddy’ Zia (Janjua, Kakar, Karamat, Musharraf, Sharif, Bajwa). A case was filed under Article 6 against Musharraf while the PM and the Law Minister were spared by the ‘King’.
The sitting COAS was openly criticised and challenged in public meetings by MNS. An unsuccessful movement was launched under the slogan of ‘ Vote Ki Izzat ‘ which fizzled out after the ‘ Road March ‘ from Islamabad to Lahore. To escape his prison term, fake medical reports were used. The close-to-death MNS with his uncontrolled platelets managed to escape. He has been residing since in his plush London apartments while his younger brother managed to come into power in the land of the pure. IK has bestowed Shahbaz Sharif (SS) with the title of ‘Cherry Blossom’. From ‘Vote Ki Izzat’ to ‘Shoe Polish’ it has been a journey with no scruples, the principle of ” Everything is fair in love and war ” has been followed to gain power again and again by dodging the courts and the weak accountability mehanisms in place.
With the current IK challenge, MNS remains the last hope of the establishment. Like the earlier Muslim Leagues, his PML(N) remains an anchor of the status quo. While the people of Pakistan desire to move forward, MNS and his party talk about ‘ Purana Pakistan ‘.
The first PM, Liaquat Ali Khan, tried to establish a democratic state. His assassination stalled the process. In the 1970s Bhutto tried to restore ‘ People’s Power ‘. His government was called ‘Awami Hukumat‘ (People’s Government). IK came into power with the promise of building ‘Naya Pakistan‘. Both Liaquat and Bhutto lost their lives fighting for the rights of the masses while MNS managed to escape not once but three times and still remains in the arena as a potent political force. Perhaps the forces of status quo operate on the principle of ‘Known evil is safer than the unknown’, so that MNS manages to stage comebacks with their support. Change is considered to be the main threat by the establishment. Every time that MNS crosses their boundaries to expand his ‘Evil Empire’ they intervene but with ‘Hola Hath‘ (Soft Hands).
Karl Marx was inspired by the legendary Prometheus, the Greek God of Fire, who taught man the use of fire, for which he was chained for life.
It is time to unchain the nation for the republic to emerge. With the retirement of the current COAS in November this year, the old order (Ayub to Bajwa) must come to an end signaling a new Dawn of Democracy. In the promised land the people of Pakistan have suffered enough at the hands of the ‘Establishment’.