Home Global Village Is Nawaz Sharif threatening to become the next Mujibur Rahman?

Is Nawaz Sharif threatening to become the next Mujibur Rahman?

Mujibur Rahman

News Analysis |

Former premier Nawaz Sharif has continued his verbal assault against the judiciary and the military. Yesterday, while talking to a group of lawyers, led by Naseer Bhutta, in the presence of Maryam Nawaz, Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana and PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, Nawaz Sharif compared himself to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan. ‘Mujibur Rahman was not a traitor, he was a patriot, we push him into treachery’, he claimed.

Nawaz Sharif has no left no opportunity to criticize the judiciary and the military over the Supreme Court’s 28th July decision to disqualify him. Sharif has been going on the rhetoric that he has been disqualified unlawfully. In a press conference on 3rd January, Nawaz Sharif blamed the military and judiciary for Pakistan’s disintegration in 1971. Yesterday, he expanded along those same lines while addressing a group of lawyers outside Punjab House in Islamabad.  Rather than addressing the issue at hand, he chose to talk about East Pakistan’s separation.

The way he’s been attacking the courts counts as contempt of court but the SC has given him a free hand so far. It is also very disappointing that no media outlets or political parties have highlighted these statements by Nawaz Sharif or condemned them.

“What happened in 1971? Why were the sentiments of Bengalis hurt so much that they were forced to seek independence?” he asked. Highlighting the contributions of Bengalis in the independence movement, he said that they were at the forefront of the freedom struggle. “We are all responsible in some capacity for the tragedy”, he lamented. The background of 1971 was mentioned to make up his own case against the judiciary. He blamed the military dictators for hurting the sentiments of the Bengali people and ultimately forcing them to struggle for independence.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif represents the predatorification of politics

Sharif complained that he was being treated the same way that the people of Pakistan were being treated; he compared himself to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and blamed the establishment for making him a traitor. “Those forces are still at work today”, Sharif said. In a way, Sharif is threatening that he might become the next Mujibur Rahman if his trial in the accountability court is not stopped. This is a first statement of its kind from any leader of a major political party. The memories of 1971 still haunt the nation and it is not wise to use it as political leverage.

It’s not sure whether Sharif is actually ignorant or wilfully disregarding the fact that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman expressed his desires of separation in a clandestine meeting with the then Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru nine years before the separation took place.

Sharif also declared Article 62 (1) (f), by which he was disqualified, a black law. The terms of ‘sadiq and ameen’ in Article 62 (1) (f) of the constitution were introduced by former president Zia-ul-Haq. It is interesting to note that when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) tried to remove these clauses from the constitution in the draft of the 18th amendment, it was Sharif’s party PML-N itself that opposed it. So the apparent ‘black law’ as termed by Nawaz Sharif was protected by Nawaz Sharif when it favoured him.

Read more: Is Nawaz Sharif really an Ideology?

Nawaz Sharif’s allegations come at a time when the nation is already under pressure from the United States (US) and the nation needs national unity and integration. Rather than defending Pakistan against the US allegations, Nawaz Sharif launched a two pronged attack at home by blaming the military and judiciary for Bangladesh’s separation. Military dictators oppressed the Bengalis and Judiciary backed the military according to Sharif. In concealed remarks, he hinted that the US allegations are actually true and he has been speaking against it for decades.

This is a first statement of its kind from any leader of a major political party. The memories of 1971 still haunt the nation and it is not wise to use it as political leverage.

While there is no comparison between what happened in Bangladesh and what happened in Sharif’s disqualification case, Nawaz is determined to view them under the same lens. It’s not sure whether Sharif is actually ignorant or wilfully disregarding the fact that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman expressed his desires of separation in a clandestine meeting with the then Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru nine years before the separation took place. The details of the meeting are present in Global Village Space magazine’s December publication, in an article by Dr. Moeed Pirzada.

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

It proves that Mujibur Rahman was always a traitor and president of PML-N Nawaz Sharif is not only defending a traitor, he is also comparing himself to him. The way he’s been attacking the courts counts as contempt of court but the SC has given him a free hand so far. It is also very disappointing that no media outlets or political parties have highlighted these statements by Nawaz Sharif or condemned them. Only Asad Umar from PTI has expressed severe indignation towards Sharif’s remarks about Mujibur Rahman. ‘It would have been considered an act of high treason if a leader from Baluchistan or Sindh had uttered these remarks’, Umar lamented.

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