Home Global Village How will Sharif save his political career after NAB indictment?

How will Sharif save his political career after NAB indictment?

indictment
  • 279
    Shares

News Analysis |

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was indicted by an accountability court on Friday in relation to a graft reference pertaining to the Flagship Investments and other offshore companies. The indictment was done a day after the accountability court indicted the 67-year old Nawaz in Avenfield Properties and Al-Azizia Company references in absentia via his pleader, Zafir Khan.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three references in-line with the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in the Panama Case in July this year. Today, the anti-graft court charged Nawaz of owning assets beyond his known and declared sources of income. The indictment happened in presence of Nawaz’s pleader, for the former premier is tending his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz in London.

It would be interesting to see as to how the elder Sharifs strategizes to extricate himself from the marsh which he is engrossed in. Another question that intrigues pundits is whether the PML-N will act like a ruling party or will it remain under the wings of the Sharif family

Zafir Khan pleaded not guilty on behalf of Sharif. The charge-sheet gave out complete details of the charges against the former premier. Sharif had clearly told the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that he was a bonafide shareholder in 15 companies to include Flagship Invest­ments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE, Dubai.

Read more: Cracks in the PML-N: Riaz Pirzada wants…

The court was told that his sons, Hassan and Hussain were his dependents in 1989 and 1990. However, Sharif, submitted a record of assets for Hassan from 1990-1995, the charge-sheet read. There was a visible discrepancy, which according to legal experts and analysts was a death knell for his legal case.

The charge-sheet pointed out the discrepancies in the revelations and that too during the time Sharif held important positions in public office, including those of chief minister of Punjab and prime minister.

The recent statement of DG ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor regarding zero chances of a martial law was deemed as a setback to Sharif’s political strategy

The indictment was expedited yesterday when back to back petitions of the Sharif family were set aside by the anti-graft court. Analysts believed that it was a blow to Sharif’s efforts to delay the impending indictment. While pleading guilty on Thursday, Maryam Nawaz who was also indicted in the Avenfield Apartment reference took swipes at the process of accountability while reiterating the assertion that the family has been hard done by.

She said: “Please do not make a mockery of justice, law, and constitution.” Despite being cautioned by her uncle, CM Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam took a dig at the other institutions of the state by saying: “Each institution should do its job.”

Read more: Panama papers: A long road to Indictment..?

This is exactly what pundits fear: confrontational politics. Watchers opine that since the legal options have been exhausted by the Sharifs, the family will solely focus on the politics surrounding the case; if the recent past is an indicator, chances of a ramped-up conspiracy narrative is on the cards.

Trouble Compounds for Nawaz 

This is exactly what pundits fear: confrontational politics. Watchers opine that since the legal options have been exhausted by the Sharifs, the family will solely focus on the politics surrounding the case; if the recent past is an indicator

Despite the tightening legal noose on the former prime minister, he appears adamant and defiant. Analysts see this indomitable as a precursor to more trouble. They are of the opinion that Sharif may whip up the conspiracy narrative in a bid to garner sympathies. His opponents are fearful that he wants to become a political martyr by creating an environment where the military can topple the government.

The recent statement of DG ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor regarding zero chances of a martial law was deemed as a setback to Sharif’s political strategy. At a time when the PML-N government is fully intact, the conspiracy and “threat to democracy” narratives have fewer buyers.

Read more: “JIT ka fraud pakra gya”: Will conspiracy talk…

The charge-sheet pointed out the discrepancies in the revelations and that too during the time Sharif held important positions in public office, including those of chief minister of Punjab and prime minister

Watchers familiar with the developments feel that there is a visible divide in the PML-N over how to approach the crisis. While Nawaz and his coterie are positioning themselves for a showdown with the organs of the state, Shahbaz Sharif admittedly believes that institutional harmony is in the interests of the country and the party. In a press conference on Thursday, PML-N’s minister, Riaz Pirzada also implored upon Shahbaz Sharif to take over the reins of the party.

Now, it would be interesting to see as to how the elder Sharifs strategizes to extricate himself from the marsh which he is engrossed in. Another question that intrigues pundits is whether the PML-N will act like a ruling party or will it remain under the wings of the Sharif family. At a time when the country can ill-afford a tiff, we are about to witness a showdown between the hawks and the doves.


  • 279
    Shares

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here