Shiffa Yousafzai |
They say all is well that ends well but for Nawaz Sharif and Co., it never ends well.
Nawaz and his Unhappy Endings
Term # 1
The first term of Nawaz Sharif in the year 1993 ended when he got sacked by the President at the time, Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The relationship between both the then Prime Minister Sharif and President Ghulam Ishaq was affable.
But when the rumors, that Nawaz is trying to amend the constitution started to surface, President Khan stood and opposed the PM and held on to the power of President to dissolve the National Assembly. Another major difference that occurred between both was about the appointment of the new Chief of Army staff – after the sudden death of the Chief of Army Staff in January 1993.
Read more: Lawyers pledge full support to Nawaz Sharif
When President Khan appointed General Abdul Waheed Kakar without taking Nawaz Sharif on board, Nawaz publicly started an evil-intentioned campaign against President Khan. As a result, President Ghulam Ishaq dissolved the National Assembly and dismissed Nawaz Sharif.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked the protesters to clear the road as a petition against this act has already been filed. The protesters, however, are still very much there.
Sharif challenged the dissolution in the Supreme Court and eventually Prime Minister Nawaz and his government, both were restored. But things were not going very smooth and it took just two to three months from the dismissal of Nawaz and his restoration by the courts to where he finally had to leave. President Khan upon passing the order for dissolution of National Assembly also stepped down from his post. This marks the first unhappy ending for Nawaz.
Term # 2
The second time in 1999 when Nawaz Sharif was sent home from the office, he had to make a short stop at Attock Jail on his way out. I don’t have to explain the “Hijacking Drama” – as General Musharraf calls it in his autobiography “In the Line of Fire” when his plane was not being allowed to land in Karachi.
But briefly, General Pervez Musharraf, the then Chief of Army Staff, was on an official visit to Sri Lanka while Nawaz Sharif conspired against him and promoted Lt. General Zia ud Din to the rank of a General and appointed him as Chief of Army Staff.
The famous ‘Dawn Leaks’ is another controversy stirred up by Nawaz and Co. causing a threat to the national security by defaming Pakistan army.
However, the army didn’t support the move. When General Musharraf landed in Karachi, the army was ready and Musharraf took over as the Chief Executive of the country. National and Provincial Assemblies were dissolved and Nawaz Sharif was taken into custody and sent off to a local prison. This was something beyond unhappy for him.
Term # 3
Nawaz Sharif for the third time in 2013 won the elections and became the Prime Minister of Pakistan and Shahbaz Sharif, his younger brother, became the Chief Minister of Punjab. But I guess the stars just never aligned for Nawaz Sharif because this time too, right from the beginning he has been facing the heat.
It started with the opposition, accusing Nawaz & his party of rigging the General Elections of 2013. Election Tribunals ordered re-elections in a few constituencies deposing the PML-N lawmakers. Imran Khan’s party ‘Tehreek-e-Insaaf’ took these decisions as their victory after a sit-in staged in the capital city over the massively rigged elections of 2013.
When President Khan appointed General Abdul Waheed Kakar without taking Nawaz Sharif on board, Nawaz publicly started an evil-intentioned campaign against President Khan.
Then came another worrisome situation for the Federal and Punjab Government of Nawaz & PML-N – The Model Town massacre. Though, this trouble for the Punjab Government was a result of Sharif Brothers’ paranoia of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri’s arrival from Canada. It severely damaged the reputation of the Punjab Government.
Lahore High Court ordered the Punjab Government to release Justice Baqir Najfi’s report and make it public. Several journalists and media houses have got their hands on the report and they have reported that Justice Baqir Najfi’s report on the Model Town massacre holds Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and CM Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif responsible for the massacre by ordering the Punjab Police to open fire on the unarmed followers of Dr. Qadri in Model Town, Lahore, taking 14 innocent lives.
Another scandal for the Punjab Government to keep them worried was the Kasur Child abuse scandal. About 300 children were filmed while being forced into doing sexual acts. Later the relatives of the victims were blackmailed and the explicit videos of the children being abused were sold to pornographic websites.
People all over the country were enraged when Malik Ahmed Saeed, Kasur’s MPA from Nawaz League, and Punjab Police were accused of covering up the abuse. Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister of Punjab, initially said that it was merely a land dispute between two parties and both had registered fake cases against each other and nothing like child abuse had been reported.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), in its fact-finding report on the Kasur Child Abuse scandal, notes, “It is clear that a heinous crime has been committed against children.” It also states, “The references made to a land dispute in the village are irrelevant and nothing can justify avoidance of impartial investigation and prosecution.
General Pervez Musharraf, the then Chief of Army Staff, was on an official visit to Sri Lanka while Nawaz Sharif conspired against him and promoted Lt.
”And in addition to that, “The police could not have been unaware of the video clips freely circulating in the area and rumors of abuse of children and their failure to take action lend support to charges of policemen’s collusion with the culprits. The team found the role of political parties very distributing and it is also disturbed at the victim’s families’ lack of interest in the children’s psychological rehabilitation.”
Read more: Nawaz Sharif’s next adventure?
The famous ‘Dawn Leaks’ is another controversy stirred up by Nawaz and Co. causing a threat to the national security by defaming Pakistan army. It is something we all know about inside out – so I don’t have to say much about it.
After Dawn Leaks came Sajjan Jindal – the Indian steel tycoon – who secretly, went to meet Nawaz Sharif when he was the Prime Minister. And Nawaz, as sitting Prime Minister of Pakistan, took/let Jindal in his car to Murree without a visa.
That is a serious violation of visa specifications and a serious misuse of the most superior public office. (Had I been issued a visa for Agra and I had violated that by visiting Delhi, I would have been arrested. Jindal should have been arrested along with the man who allowed him to commit this crime.)
Another nightmare for Nawaz Sharif was the Panama Papers, and while he was still struggling to save his skin in that case – Iqama surfaced. Once again he had to go home. However, his party is still ruling and he is ruling the party as Head of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).
Even after his disqualification, troubles for him and his party didn’t end. The PML-N government and minister of Law and Justice, Zahid Hamid, tried to make an amendment in the finality of Prophethood clause in the election laws by omitting the provision regarding the finality of Prophethood.
Lahore High Court ordered the Punjab Government to release Justice Baqir Najfi’s report and make it public. Several journalists and media houses have got their hands on the report.
At first, the ruling party and Zahid Hamid tried to justify the move by saying that nothing has been changed really and the words ‘I solemnly swear’ were replaced with ‘I declare’, which means the same thing. Later, when the pressure built up they changed their stance and said it wasn’t a deliberate change but was a clerical error.
Apparently, as a protest against this act of current government, Islamabad has been facing a sit-in by Tehreek e Labaik Ya Rasulullah (TLYR). The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked the protesters to clear the road as a petition against this act has already been filed. The protesters, however, are still very much there. Many people fear things will get ugly between the protestors and the government. Thus, tackling this issue with sensibility is another challenge for the PML-N government.
There are many sane minds in Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League and if they want to save the Muslim League banner and the significance of this historical party, which was once responsible for the creation of Pakistan, they will have to distance themselves from Nawaz Sharif. PML-N seems to be a sinking ship now and saner minds in the party need to desert this sinking ship.
With all the power in the world, Nawaz Sharif has always continued to struggle for more power and this is a self-imposed struggle. You have been selected or elected thrice by the people (as you say). As your daughter says you have been ruling the hearts of the people, then why so much insecurity?
Nawaz Sharif is one man that we have known who can neither handle a favorable or an unfavorable situation. This speaks volumes for his ineptness. There is a lot to handle for the PML-N government in the final year of their tenure and it seems like too much to fix for them to survive the upcoming general elections.
Shiffa Yousafzai is a freelance writer; She is an International Alumni Ambassador for Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, where she studied Multimedia Journalism. Earlier, she graduated with business and marketing at Air University, Islamabad. She had been vice-president Air University Cultural Society; She is a singer and has performed in cultural events. Shiffa could be followed on twitter @Shiffa_ZY and on facebook @Shiffa Z. Yousafzai. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.