Is Nawaz Sharif really an Ideology?

News Analysis |

The president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who has been recently disqualified from public office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for ‘deliberately’ concealing assets, is once again back to speak, curse and lead.

The ousted Prime Minister (PM) addressed a considerable number of people in Abbottabad on Sunday and formally started the political campaign for the upcoming general elections. Mr Sharif came up with the expected narrative to sell out: I was forcefully thrown out of the game by the establishment and the judiciary.

At the very outset, the ex-PM assured his followers of his love for them.  “Nawaz Sharif really loves you too,” he exclaimed!

Nawaz’s fight for democracy that he likes to mention all the time is undermined when he attacks the institutions of the states for saving his vested political interests.

He also implicitly pointed out the role of the establishment and stated, “lots of games like this have been played time and time again”. But he warned the ‘hidden hand’ by stating that “everyone is awake and they will take account of each and everything”.

He further negated the minus-Nawaz formula and made it clear that “Nawaz Sharif is an ideology and this ideology will bring revolutionary change across Pakistan”.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif: hungry for power at all cost

Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N remained unsuccessful to revive economic activity, political stability and social harmony. Publicity oriented projects have been on the PML-N’s table with a special focus on Lahore. The government remained unable to ensure any sustainable development at economic or political levels.

Sharif has nothing to offer to the people of Pakistan to seek their support. Select projects in Lahore or any other city do not help in convincing people when you stay in the office for almost five years.

But Nawaz Sharif has begun using a different card to try and win in the upcoming elections. Whether the card is useful or not is yet to be decided but it definitely carries some practical weight for being politically valid. He is using his self-declared forced departure from the PM office as a tool to gain sympathy.

The ex-PM assured his followers of his love for them.  “Nawaz Sharif really loves you too,” he exclaimed!

Many are buying his argument and offering him some real and some cold comforts. The victim card is necessary for Sharif to carry but it is important to remember the context the card can be used in.

The educated youth, for example, will perhaps never buy his argument. Similarly, those in media and civil society who know what a real democracy is will find it hard to believe in Nawaz’s version of democracy. Nawaz Sharif will also face a tough time to sell his narrative to the international community for seeking external legitimacy.

Men and women from the Pakistani middle class have a pragmatic approach towards the system. It would be, therefore, counterproductive to present a compromised version of reality to seek their unconditional submission. People generally assess governments on the basis of their performances, not on the slogans and narratives they engineer in order to ensure their election and re-election.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif appears in accountability court

Moreover, there is a problem with what the ex-PM has so confidently claimed. I am an ideology. What does Nawaz mean when he claims to be an ideology? Does it mean a man who is there to stand for democracy? Does it imply a leader who is selflessly working for the betterment of his people? Does it mean a man who is strong enough to bring economic prosperity and social organization? Does it mean a reformer who is working to ensure equality, tolerance and progress? What does Nawaz prefer to be associated with? A strong man? A fearless leader? A committed reformer?

The truth is all strong men, fearless leaders and committed reformers have never been so self-centred nor have they been spending their lives so lavishly. Ironically, a man who claims to be a symbol, essence and demonstration of an ideology seems to be a person having an ideology based on himself.

The ousted Prime Minister (PM) addressed a considerable number of people in Abbottabad on Sunday and formally started the political campaign for the upcoming general elections.

Nawaz’s fight for democracy that he likes to mention all the time is undermined when he attacks the institutions of the states for saving his vested political interests.

An ideology is generally shared, commonly understood and, above all, clearly defined. Nawaz’s ideology, on the contrary, is overly personal, only personally understood, and vaguely defined, or perhaps largely undefined. 

Read more: Nawaz Sharif – The unacceptable face of our politics

Nawaz Sharif’s myopic ideology which only ensures personal growth needs a comprehensive rethinking for Nawaz’s own political survival in Pakistan.

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