Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and vice-President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has revealed that the only way forward to end the tussle between the establishment and the country’s opposition parties is to hold talks. “Issues like this can only be resolved through talks and dialogue,” he told prominent anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada in his program Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath on Geo TV.
Similarly, Sabir Shakir and Ghulam Hussain, prominent Pakistani journalists and political commentators, also opined that the Sharif family is now waiting to receive a phone call for talks with the establishment. “Now Nawaz and his aides are looking for someone to come out of this embarrassing situation as their narrative has not only been failed but also badly exposed in front of the nation,” Shakir said.
What went wrong?
Nawaz’s two controversial speeches in Gujranwala, PML-N’s political threshold, and Quetta, provincial capital of Balochistan, where he named the Army Chief and Director General (DG) Inter-services Intelligence Agency (ISI) for installing the current government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. After the speeches, political analysts in Pakistan and abroad were of the view that “Nawaz has nothing left to lose”. However, the present party position and insistence for a comprehensive dialogue to resolve all the outstanding political issues is nothing less than a shock for the certain segments of media that have been projecting Nawaz and his daughter as the champions of democracy in Pakistan.
Notably, Nawaz Sharif has been in Pakistan politics for the last more than three decades; he was made the CM Punjab in the 1980s and later on the country’s prime minister. However, due to some personal and organizational lapse of his party, he failed to complete his tenure in the office. Nawaz was ousted from his office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2017 as he “was no longer honest and truthful”.
Read More: Who is backing Nawaz Sharif?
Nawaz’s political model is often termed as family-centric due to its inherent dynastic posture. Maryam and Hamza are said to be the political hires of revolutionary Nawaz, who claims to overthrow the existing system.
Has Nawaz crossed all the limits?
There was a view that Nawaz has crossed all the limits, and became a staunch supporter of democracy in Pakistan. However, some political analysts were of the view that Nawaz Sharif did not cross the red line. Nawaz, argued commentators, sent a message that “he and his followers have not lost their fire especially if the pressure on them is ratcheted up,” wrote Arifa Noor, Dawn’s former Resident Editor, in Islamabad.
Noor also pointed out that Nawaz did not name those behind the present-day political engineering; “The former premier remembered that a retired officer had a role to play in the fall of the Noon government in Balochistan but not the names of the ones who may have tinkered with the no-confidence move against the Senate chairman or the vote in the joint session last week. The omissions were more telling than the stories told and the people named,” she maintained.
“Nawaz Sharif has not burnt all his boats, to mix metaphors. He is too astute a politician to do otherwise, regardless of what his hard-line leaders and followers expect,” Noor concludes.
Though Nawaz has named the COAS and DG ISI, yet there is a dominant view among the policy experts that the current standoff between the PML-N and establishment is likely to be resolved after backdoor meetings and political bargain.