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Nawaz delivers speech about the future of democracy in Pakistan


News Analysis |

Nawaz Sharif on Friday gave a speech about the future of democracy in Pakistan while speaking in a seminar in Karachi. Sharif accused the judiciary of supporting dictatorships for the past 70 years in the name of necessity. He said that dictators ruled the country for more than 30 years combined while not a single democratically elected prime minister was allowed to serve for more than 2 years.

The former premier continued his tirade against the judiciary and the military after his ouster in 28th July 2017, in the Panama Papers case. Sharif accused the judiciary and military establishment of conspiring against him and disqualifying him for not receiving a salary from his son. He accused the military of making democracy its mistress.

The media experts believe that if Nawaz somehow manages to turn the public against the judiciary and the military, it’ll force them to sign a backdoor deal with Nawaz and give him an easy way out of this mess.

During his speech, Sharif lamented that whenever democracy started progressing, it was butchered by the powerful establishment and even 70 years after the creation of Pakistan, the public is still uncertain about the future of democracy. He recalled examples from history that in 1953, Khawaja Nazimuddin was brought down as the PM and was replaced with Muhammad Ali Bogra.

Similarly, he quoted the example of the first martial law in 1958, which overturned the 1956 Constitution and prevented the general elections in 1958. Nawaz then accused the judiciary of legitimizing that martial law, taking support from the doctrine of necessity. “In 1999, when our government was toppled and martial law was imposed, a judge said that a great thing had been done,” Sharif narrated and lamented that the military was given a free hand to corrupt the constitution.

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Nawaz declared that the judges had no right to meddle with the constitution, let alone to pass it on to someone else. He then expressed that injustices were done to him and his party in the centre and the province and asked the judiciary why he was the only one who was put under trial, why do the dictators get away with everything? Sharif ended the speech by expressing hope that democracy will prosper in the country despite the damage done by the dictators.

The analysts believe that Nawaz is desperate since he is stuck in the accountability cases in NAB courts and the reins of the party are slipping from his hands so he’s utilizing the greatest weapon available to him, which is public opinion.

Media analysts have observed a pattern in all the statements of Nawaz Sharif. They believe that Sharif has devised a strategy against the judiciary and the military and he wants to undermine their support and their legitimacy in the public. Nawaz had earlier compared himself to Mujeebur Rehman and alleged that he was receiving the same treatment that Mujeeb was given. He also alleged that Mujeebur Rehman was a patriot and was forced to become a traitor.

Nawaz Sharif has started a barrage of verbal attacks against the judiciary which political experts believe to be a bid to pressure them. Legal experts have scrutinized the wording of Nawaz’s speeches and believe that his speeches would land him into trouble in the court if the Supreme Court takes a suo moto notice against them.

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Only yesterday, PML-N’s senator Nehal Hashmi was punished to one month in prison and five years of disqualification for contempt of court. Nawaz Sharif would have a similar fate according to law experts, if the SC decides to take action against them.

During his speech, Sharif lamented that whenever democracy started progressing, it was butchered by the powerful establishment and even 70 years after the creation of Pakistan, the public is still uncertain about the future of democracy.

Rivals of PML-N have declared Nawaz’s language traitorous. They believe that Nawaz is challenging the institutions of the state and threatening the stability and security of the country. Many petitions of contempt of court have been filed against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz over contempt of court. Last week, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) took up a contempt of court issue against Sharif; the hearing will begin later this month.

Some media analysts have criticized Sharif because his accusations are based on examples in the past and he doesn’t acknowledge any wrong deeds done by him. The analysts believe that Nawaz is desperate since he is stuck in the accountability cases in NAB courts and the reins of the party are slipping from his hands so he’s utilizing the greatest weapon available to him, which is public opinion.

The media experts believe that if Nawaz somehow manages to turn the public against the judiciary and the military, it’ll force them to sign a backdoor deal with Nawaz and give him an easy way out of this mess.

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