News Analysis |
Senior members of the legal fraternity met former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and assured him their wholehearted support in his efforts to “restore the sanctity of the ballot and uphold democracy in the country”. According to Senator Asif Kirmani, the assurance was given by former leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association and office-bearers of the Pakistan Bar Council, who met the ousted premier on Wednesday.
The attendees of the meeting included lawyers Yasin Azad, Latif Afridi, Kamran Murtaza, Azam Nazir Tarar, Akhtar Hussain, Qalbe Hussain and Fazle Haq Abbasi. Governor Punjab Rafique Rajwana was also present on the occasion.
Read more: Supreme Court rejects Nawaz Sharif’s appeal for clubbing of corruption references
Nawaz Sharif and his family are grappling with the fallout of the Panama Case. After being indicted last month, the Sharifs’ trial has been initiated by the accountability court. Despite mounting troubles, the former lawmaker is in no mood to succumb; he has decided to fight it out.
In an interview last month, ace lawyer and the victor in the Panama Case, Naeem Bukhari said: “Mian Saab, you have absolutely no defense even if you hire the best brains in the world.”
Talking to legal minds supportive of him, Nawaz said that he lead the restoration of the judiciary in 2009. He said the country was created by the man who wore a black coat and lawyers have continued to make sacrifices for the sake of democracy.
Nawaz’s line has remained unchanged: his ousting is a conspiracy against democracy. While subversive forces have tinkered with, interfered in an engineered political processes, watchers feel that it is hard to embrace the conspiracy narrative this time. They contend that Nawaz or one person is not the face of democracy. Besides, the ruling party is fully in control of the government.
That said, Nawaz feels that with legal options drying up, his only chance of wriggling out of trouble is by whipping up the conspiracy narrative. Experts feel that the Sharif family wants to fool the court through plucking out legal nuances. The idea is to delay conviction that is on the cards. According to the sequence of proceedings, the accountability court is inching closer towards conviction.
On Tuesday, Imran Khan in an interview with a social media channel said that the Sharifs are trying to delay conviction because it would mean that their stashed money will be brought back.
Nawaz Sharif and his family are grappling with the fallout of the Panama Case. After being indicted last month, the Sharifs’ trial has been initiated by the accountability court.
Nawaz is rallying support for himself; something that analysts feel is a difficult task. Rumors of rifts within the PML-N and the Sharif family have surfaced lately. Sources assert that Nawaz has turned down suggestions given by his brother, Shahbaz Sharif.
Read more: Nawaz Sharif appears in accountability court
Amidst real difficulties, can the support from the lawyers translate into an effective legal defense? In an interview last month, ace lawyer and the victor in the Panama Case, Naeem Bukhari said: “Mian Saab, you have absolutely no defense even if you hire the best brains in the world.” Opponents and experts have time and again termed this as a matter of honesty and the inability of the Sharifs to come clean on their financial dealings. The question is: can the Sharifs satisfy the court by removing discrepancies or will they continue to take refuge in legal semantics?