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Nawaz Sharif- traitor or trader?

Is Nawaz Sharif a trader or traitor? An analysis of his upbringing and actions to answer the ultimate question.

Nawaz Sharif
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Syed Haider Raza Mehdi |

There’s a famous dialogue attributed to Abu Sufyan in the movie ‘The Message’ when he refuses to re-attack the Muslim forces who had defeated the Meccan hordes at Oudh. One person asks him “What about your honor, Abu Sufyan?”

Abu Sufyan responds, pointing to loads of merchandise on the camels, “My honor lies on the backs of the camels.” While the movie perhaps fictionalizes the account, it shows, even from our own Islamic history, how wealth and its single-minded pursuit can overwhelm the entire being of a trader or a businessman.

It was apparent that Abu Sufyan and the merchants of Mecca were not as concerned about the new ‘Message’ brought by our beloved Prophet PBUH, but more concerned about the loss of business and income due to the homage people paid to the many deities and the loss of associated power and influence if people bought into the Prophet’s Message of Islam! And such is the power of wealth – these Meccan merchants were very soon able to regain and grab power immediately after the four Rightly Guided Caliphs.

Nawaz has looted and plundered this country with abandon! He has destroyed all its institutions, except two. He has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy! And in his final act of treachery and desperation to save himself and his wealth, he blamed the State of Pakistan and its institutions of supporting terrorism!

They, then transformed this great spiritual, social and economic revolution into an authoritarian, autocratic, imperial, monarchist version of Islam – vestiges of which we still see in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain etc…

Kindly do not read any hidden sectarian agenda in this. The objective is to illustrate how quickly the forces of wealth were able to overturn the pristine Prophetic Message and destroy the state of Medina, which was subsequently attacked and significant portions were burnt and razed to the ground – as was done to the Kaabah, by Abu Sufyan’s grandson, Yazid ibne Muawiyyah.

This historical battle between the forces and interests of big business, traders and merchants exploited and deprived the rights of the weak. This has continued since the merchants made their first profit exploiting the weak! Even though the line between the two frequently overlaps and gets murky, their main narratives support the same agendas.

Read more: PPP lambasts Nawaz for switching sides only to save himself

Big businesses have their political parties – For example, Republicans in the USA, Conservatives in the UK and Canada and most importantly and closer to home, the PMLN. Nawaz Sharif represents nothing but the single-minded interests of a selfish dukaandar, an evil merchant and a corrupt businessman, whose only god is wealth. To him anything in the way of his wealth is an enemy. However, all business people of course are not evil.

Further to this, thanks to the “illustrious upbringing” of his “pious father”, he learned that there were two ways to a successful business – Buy them, Bribe them, and if all else fails, fight them. Nawaz is now in stage 3 of his battle to survive –  Fighting those who stand in the way of his wealth! Before going further in to this, it is important to understand the man and his upbringing.

There’s a famous dialogue attributed to Abu Sufyan in the movie ‘The Message’ when he refuses to re-attack the Muslim forces who had defeated the Meccan hordes at Oudh. One person asks him “What about your honor, Abu Sufyan?”

Nawaz was brought up in a house of traders and businessmen. Growing up, all he saw and participated in was the wheeling-dealing of his dad, Mian Sharif, and his uncles. Every day, he and his brothers witnessed their father bribing and buying his way to success. He and Shahbaz were both instruments of this wheeling and dealing, delivering bribes and hush money on behalf of their father.  One can see how Nawaz has inculcated these terrible values in his own children, Maryam, Hussain and Hassan.

People close to the family describe how Nawaz was never trusted to do these acts alone because his father didn’t think he was competent or trustworthy enough. Therefore, somebody always accompanied him in these unholy acts. Frequently it was Shahbaz. No wonder Shahbaz used this learning to build his own huge empire

Nawaz was the family’s ‘failure’.

Considered good for nothing, except chauffeuring his father’s friends, business associates or senior bureaucrats around in their Mercedes, he wanted to become an actor and was given the tutelage of Rangeela the actor/comedian. Rangeela had to embarrassingly admit failure.

Mian Sharif kept the idea close to his heart lest Nawaz caused problems in the business. He wasn’t given any independence in the family business in the first place – So much so that he had instructed everyone in the business to not carry out any instructions issued by Nawaz, unless he, Mian Sharif, cleared them.

Read more: Asghar Khan case: The ugly truth about Pakistani politics

However, everything changed when Gen. Jilani arrived on the scene and the rest is history.  Nawaz’s selection and appointment as the Punjab Finance Minister by Gen. Jilani is still a great mystery. The version of the reasons behind his appointment from someone who had worked very closely with Gen. Jilani are unspeakable.  Clearly one must question, what was it about the Sharif family that motivated Gen. Jilani to ignore the many other brilliant business people and families in Lahore and Punjab and to pick this village idiot?

Clearly it wasn’t Nawaz’s ‘brilliance’ nor was it Mian Sharif’s wealth – so why?

Clearly someone very close to Nawaz had an inordinate amount of influence on Gen. Jilani to make him agree to this choice and this I will leave at that!

Till Mian Sharif was alive and everything that Nawaz did was under his instructions.  Therefore, as the Finance Minister, as the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister, all government appointments, postings, transfers and loans used money to get and buy political loyalty. By the time Mian Sharif died, he had created a mafia like organization around Nawaz with the likes of Ishaq Dar and others to ensure continuity of this bribe-and-buy model.

Fast forwarding to 2018, Nawaz is disqualified for life, His entire empire and political future in potential ruin, a huge possibility of long-term imprisonment  along with Maryam, a Supreme Court that can no longer be bribed or bought as was previously done with Saeed Uzzaman Siddiqi and lastly, an Army that he really has never been able to bribe or buy.

Nawaz was brought up in a house of traders and businessmen. Growing up, all he saw and participated in was the wheeling-dealing of his dad, Mian Sharif, and his uncles. Every day, he and his brothers witnessed their father bribing and buying his way to success.

Where did this leave him? What options did he have? Fight and attack both these institutions. First the Supreme Court and then the Army. Nawaz has attempted to fully exploit the military’s Achilles heels, their Martial Laws and some of the catastrophic outcomes of their rule. Moreover, he has gained traction and many willing ears from three segments.

  1. Those whose business interests and politics are directly or indirectly inextricably intertwined with his and therefore the fear of unavoidable death if he goes.
  2. A die hard core of supporters, mostly from Central Punjab, who see a ‘rare’ Punjabi as a political leader.
  3. Those who have an almost pathological aversion and dislike for the Army because of its history of Martial Laws, militarism and authoritarianism. This is a strange group in many ways. They willingly, despite being aware of Nawaz’s criminality, support him because in their opinion, he has stood up to the Army. They are the same people supporting the Pashtun Movement, not because of their grievances, but because the PTM roundly abuses the Army.

In his desperation to save his wealth and survive, I think Nawaz went a bridge too far with the Mumbai attack statement. So clearly he did what he learnt growing up – Buy, Bribe,  Fight

A true Trader!

However, the questions remains; Is he a ‘traitor?’

That depends on what definition we apply.

If it means someone who clandestinely and secretly joins hands with the enemy and works against the interests and well-being of their own country, then I think that means qualified yes. I say this because of the stories of handing over a document to Jindal which supported India’s Kulbushan case in the ICJ, Not condemning India on Kulbashan and Private meetings with Modi and Doval.  If it means someone who openly, through his actions and words, works against the interests and well-being of their own country, then it is an unqualified yes.

Nawaz has attempted to fully exploit the military’s Achilles heels, their Martial Laws and some of the catastrophic outcomes of their rule. Moreover, he has gained traction and many willing ears from three segments.

Nawaz has looted and plundered this country with abandon! He has destroyed all its institutions, except two. He has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy! And in his final act of treachery and desperation to save himself and his wealth, he blamed the State of Pakistan and its institutions of supporting terrorism!

Read more: Thank you Nawaz Sharif for showing your real colors

If this alone is not treachery, then what is?

We must not pretend to be hypocritically nice and socially or politically correct to say the obvious! Nawaz Sharif is a traitor to Pakistan! He is no valiant gladiator standing up to the Army! The sooner he’s gone, the better for Pakistan!

It is people like him who destroyed the State of Medina!

Syed Haider Raza Mehdi is the current Convenor of The Strategy Study Group, founded by the late Col. S. G. Mehdi M. C, former Group Commander of Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG). Haider is a former Pakistan Army officer, corporate leader, management consultant, business trainer, and serial entrepreneur. The views expressed here are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect GVS editorial policy.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. ” kindly do not read any hidden sectarian agenda in this”. Such expression would have been fair only if the article was balance in stating the examples of fatimids and the establishment of Shia reign by king ismail in iran. These adventures were also the prime examples of propagating their business interests in the form of creating purely Shia empires by the ismail in iran and the fatimids in Egypt and Africa before ismail. Ismail wanted to create a force opposing the neighbouring powerful ottoman Sunnis, so he ruthlessly imposed Shia doctrine in iran by killings, torturing and forcefully converting people to shiaism. This too was an example of business interests, not
    highlighted in the article,which left it imbalanced. Apart from this the article analyses the current state in a nice and logical manner, especially the comment on three different and district kind of supporters is quite enlightening.

  2. Are you witness to all his bribes that you say ” except the army that he could not bribe and buy “

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