News Analysis |

The ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that ‘rigged’ and ‘manipulated’ elections are not desirable for the development of democracy in Pakistan. He was talking to media in London when he spoke about Pakistani politics and made comments on ongoing political developments in the country. “If elections are rigged and not held in a free and fair atmosphere then it will create further problems and instability in the country in future. It’s best that the elections are held free and fair,” Nawaz Sharif suggested.

Nawaz Sharif has been a self-declared defender of democracy in Pakistan ever since he was disqualified by the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case. Nawaz was disqualified for having assets beyond known sources.

While talking about the arrest of Raja Qamar-ul-Islam, successor of Chaudhry Nisar, by the National Accountability Bureau, Sharif stated, “his arrest was unfortunate and such actions create concerns.” “Islam got clean chit a few days ago from the NAB but then he was arrested,” he added. He further argued that these ‘mysterious’ actions create doubts and lead towards political chaos. “These things create concerns. Not only that such actions should be avoided but should never happen,” ex prime minister said.

This case reflects two points very clearly; firstly, it exposes the role of the spy agency in the political engineering of Pakistan’s political process. Secondly, this case also exposed military-civilian nexus against the civilians themselves. Benazir.

Engineer Qamarul Islam, who has served as the chairman of the Saaf Pani Company, has been arrested by the NAB. He is accused of having awarded contracts for 84 water treatment plants at a higher price. According to the NAB, Islam misused his position and awarded contracts at a higher rate.

When journalists asked him about his absence from the election process in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif said that his plan was to visit his wife and spend Eid with her but, later on, he learnt about the deteriorating health of Ms. Kalsoom. “I want to go back and participate in elections. I have attended nearly 100 NAB court appearances so that the cases against me should reach to some conclusion. I came to London for three to four days for Eid but what has happened is Allah’s will,” he said.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif: All is happening beyond the law

Nawaz Sharif repeatedly said that his intention was to live only 4 to 5 days in London with her ailing wife but it is Allah’s will that things went in the other direction. “I came here with different intention but now I have to stay here because of her situation. She is still on the ventilator and her situation hasn’t changed much.”

Nawaz Sharif also commented about the reports circulating in the western press regarding expected rigging during the upcoming general elections in Pakistan. “We shouldn’t make a laughing stock of ourselves because whenever elections have been rigged, results have been horrible for our country. We need to avoid that,” the ex premier said.

Nawaz Sharif has been a self-declared defender of democracy in Pakistan ever since he was disqualified by the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case. Nawaz was disqualified for having assets beyond known sources.

Nawaz Sharif and Struggle for Free and Fair Elections in Pakistan

Asghar Khan Case has shown that  Nawaz Sharif played a role in dislodging a sitting government to become prime minster by holding controlled elections in the country.  Moreover, the Asghar Khan case reveals an unfortunate part of Pakistan’s political history. It shows how elections and loyalties are bought and people of ‘their’ own choice are given higher offices. Nepotism remains rampant.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif- traitor or trader?

This case reflects two points very clearly; firstly, it exposes the role of the spy agency in the political engineering of Pakistan’s political process. Secondly, this case also exposed military-civilian nexus against the civilians themselves. Benazir Bhutto’s government was targeted by the then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif who had an understanding with the top military leadership. He assured that he would be made the next Prime Minster after Benazir’s removal from the office.

If this case is carried out to its logical conclusions, it has the potential to embarrass Nawaz who is currently a self-styled voice for democracy and rule of law in Pakistan. His tainted past and his ‘understanding’ with military generals to manage elections will further compromise his position and narrative in the present situation.