In a bizarre move, the Punjab police on Tuesday registered a case against Maryam Nawaz and other Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders and activists for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to the COVID-19. Political analysts are of the view that such moves by the government actually give enough space to the PDM leadership to seek public attention.
As per details, the police booked PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, MNA, Malik Riaz, Waseem Khokhar, Talal Chaudhry, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Malik Abrar and others at the Shahdara Police Station.
The PML-N leaders were booked under clauses of the Punjab Sound System Regulation Act, violation of COVID-19 SOPs and provoking people against the government.
Owing to COVID’s concern, the Punjab Health Department on November 20, had banned big public gatherings allowing only up to 300 people with Covid SOPs in place.
There is a dominant view that these attempts generally help the PDM, and particularly PML-N, get more media coverage and public attention. Ayaz Amir, a prominent political commentator who appears in Dunya TV’s show, Think Tank, noted that the Multan rally of the PDM was made successful only because of the unnecessary governmental intervention.
It is worth recalling that some leaders of PPP were apprehended by the police before the rally took place. It helped PDM get attention it otherwise would have not attained.
Reach Lahore, Maryam urges followers
Earlier, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz had directed party leaders and workers to reach Lahore ahead of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally on December 13.
Addressing the PML-N’s social media workers convention in Lahore, she had said that Pakistan Democratic Movement was due to make “big decisions” in the next December 8 meeting and urged party workers to not fall under any “pressure”.
“I call upon all senators, MNAs and MPAs to respect the sanctity of people’s votes and should reject all kinds of pressure and obey their party’s decision which will be taken on December 8 PDM’s meeting,” Maryam Nawaz had declared.
The trend of registering FIRs against political opponents has not been so rampant during the current government’s tenure. However, PML-N leadership is an exception. Notably, the federal government was neither on board nor had any information about the treason cases being registered against the Sharif family, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary said in Hard Talk Pakistan with Dr. Moeed Pirzada aired by the 92 News channel.
GVS spoke to various reliable sources in the Punjab government and has learned that the case filed against Nawaz Sharif is another attempt to present him as a revolutionary who stood up for the cause of democracy, as Fawad claimed in the talk-show.
Fawad also told the anchor that “Prime Minister Imran Khan was also surprised after he came to know about this bizarre move”. “They are corrupt who misused authority for personal benefits. Why would we like them to become rebels and become political heroes?” questioned Fawad.
“Nawaz knows how the system works”
GVS spoke to some reliable sources to confirm as to who exactly was behind the case filed against Nawaz and other leaders of the party. “This has clearly done by someone at a lower level who might have links with the Sharif family. As a matter of fact, Sharifs have more control over local bureaucracy and district administration that the current government,” said a senior bureaucrat who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The officer also added that officers generally follow instructions received by Sharifs due to the perception that PM Khan may not be around longer, and the power may again be ‘given’ to PML-N or PPP.
Dr. Moeed Pirzada analyzed the development in his Vlog and maintained that this move seems to benefit the PML-N. “Nawaz and his party are using the development as a tool to manipulate narrative against them,” he said. Dr. Pirzada also questioned the possibility of registering an FIR without proper prior investigation into the matter “An SHO or an ASI could decide whether the FIR on the charges of high treason can be registered or not?” he asked.
Pitafi, a Lahore-based academic, told GVS that Nawaz knows how this works. “You cannot defeat Nawaz easily. He has deep penetration in this system. See, how he played it out and emerged as a leader or a revolutionary with an agenda to lead the nation from the front,” he said.