News Analysis |
Deposed Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, addressed an important press conference at the Punjab House today, hours after making a short and sweet appearance in the NAB courts in relation to corruption references against him and his family. While criticizing the dispensation of justice by the Supreme Court, he said that he knew why he was punished.
The 67-year old Nawaz ever since his disqualification has used the slogan “mujhey kyun nikala” why was I thrown out.
Today he said: “I know what crime I am being punished for. I know what my real crime is and I will continue to stand with my country.” He brought to the fore once again his long-held narrative that he is the crusader against the military establishment for the protection of democracy.
Nawaz, the PML-N, and other like-minded forces believe that the only mean of accountability is an election after five years; this is something which is factually incorrect. Accountability has other legal and constitutional means under which Nawaz was convicted on 28th July 2017.
Ever since Nawaz’s disqualification, he and his party have ramped up the tirade against so-called ‘hidden’ forces. Last such statement was made by his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Safdar, who said that he is changing something which needs to be changed. Nawaz has time and again asserted that the five judges are playing into the hands of those who have continually disrespected the mandate of the people. He said: “The whole country is being punished — the people and the generations to come. They have made a mockery of a progressive Pakistan on the track of democracy. I appeal that this country be allowed to progress in line with the Constitution. If the Constitution gives the people the right to govern, let them realize that right.”
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Nawaz, the PML-N, and other like-minded forces are putting forward the argument that the only means of accountability is an election after five years. They are making the argument that only the people’s vote counts and it does not matter if an individual is corrupt or a rapists or a criminal if the people vote for him that person should be allowed to hold public office. For them no other accountability has a legitimate status – legal or constitutional -under which Nawaz was convicted on 28th July 2017.
They are apt to disregard the fact that all democratic organs are working; the Parliament and the government are well-placed; if anything, democracy has been strengthened by holding a person to account.
The former Prime Minister also slammed the apex court. He said referring to the courts:”When they could not find proof, they made a joint investigation team. The same courts and judges announced the decision and told the National Accountability Bureau to open references.”
Nawaz further added: “My other case is for honesty — for the Quaid’s Pakistan; the people’s case, the Constitution’s case, democracy’s case and the case for democratic rule. I am taking up that case and I will continue to fight it. I believe that the people of Pakistan will win.” Nawaz once again indicated that he is the man standing between democracy and the unbridled khakis.
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Given that the Panama Case held many world leaders to account and that Nawaz was unable to exonerate himself despite umpteen opportunities, the conspiracy story has gained little traction worldwide.
Nawaz, feeling the need to rely on western support to bolster his case, has taken to lobbying in the international fora having hired a top US firm to lobby his case in Washington. Here it is important to understand that neither Nawaz can garner votes from US citizens nor expect Washington to unravel an Israeli conspiracy. By starting such a campaign in the USA, he is strengthening the view of critics, that have already argued that he was brought in through western governments support. By the look of things, Nawaz is trying to elicit support to mount an onslaught against state institutions. At a time when the US is already exerting pressure on the Pakistani military, the move seems tactically feasible for Nawaz.
Nawaz has decided to fight on against the so-called anti-democratic forces. To that effect, he also wants to maintain his clout in the party. Reportedly, he made the decision to face NAB much against the wishes of his daughter, Maryam Nawaz. He did so out of fear that his sidekicks are changing loyalties.
The former Prime Minister also slammed the apex court. He said referring to the courts: “When they could not find proof, they made a joint investigation team. The same courts and judges announced the decision and told the National Accountability Bureau to open references.” He ignores the fact that when the Panama leaks first arose in April 2016, he and his party were calling for a judicial commission into the matter. Later when the court gave its first judgement and set up the JIT – once again he and his party welcomed it.
Today Nawaz stressed that the court has taken control of NAB and hence he can’t expect justice. He also went on to call the Panama Case as a “drama.” This is in contrast to what everyone else in the country believes, which is that for the past 20 years NAB has not been able to bring the rich and powerful to justice, and as an institution it is currently under the control of Nawaz and his party in government.
Nawaz has announced to all to fight on against the so-called anti-democratic forces. Unfortunately, grassroots democracy is an anathema to him. He wants to maintain his clout in the party, now through his heir apparent his own daughter. Reportedly, he made the decision to face NAB much against the wishes of his daughter, Maryam Nawaz. He did so out of fear that his close associates may change loyalties. Upon return he has immediately met the estranged Ch. Nisar in a bid to arrest a fraying relationship with his old loyalist, who is often found on the cusp of pricking the bubble.
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Regardless, the idea is to fight on and hard. Much to the dismay of many, his targets will be two of the state’s most trusted institutions.