News Desk |
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will begin a journey from Islamabad to Lahore today after being ousted by 5 member bench of Supreme Court in the infamous Panama Case. This yatra indicates that Mr. Sharif has finally decided to publically confront all the ‘conspirators’ who contrived to oust him from the Prime Minister office.
Flamboyant Khwaja Saad Rafique, Danial Aziz, Ahsan Iqbal, Marium Aurangzeb and other ministers who regularly held long press conferences and made public statements during the investigation of JIT and later the Supreme Court hearings, identified hidden hands behind the entire Panama gate scandal. Scribes and journalists are of the opinion that the deposed is all set to take on his demons head on.
Mr. Sharif has refused to heed to any warnings and has decided to proceed with the planned journey
The refusal of PML-N leadership to accept the Supreme Court’s decision, their criticism of MI and ISI officials in JIT and its decision to support, finance and facilitate Nawaz Sharif’s journey from Islamabad to Lahore despite danger of it fanning unrest in country and stimulate confrontation among institutions, indicate that the incumbent ruling party has finally identified the real culprits behind the Panama gate scandal.
Read more: Nawaz Sharif: A dictator in disguise
These conspirators according to the PML-N leadership are Supreme Court of Pakistan which disqualified Nawaz Sharif without evidence and the military establishment which according to PML-N has conspired to endanger democracy by ousting Nawaz Sharif. The narrative has buyers in Asma Jehangir, Maulana Fazl ur Rehman and the entire Jang Group.
Government machinery facilitating Nawaz Sharif’s yatra
The current government seems to be leaving no stone unturned to ensure that this ‘Long March’ is successful.
The return of Tahirul Qadri and the increasing of pressure by PTI has increased the chance of confrontation between N-League and other political parties
At least 20 to 25 National Assembly constituencies fall along the GT Road, besides around 15 constituencies of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly. Local PML-N chapters are making arrangements for Nawaz Sharif’s night stay at Jhelum, Gujrat, and Gujranwala, while he is also scheduled to address public meetings at almost all major and small towns falling on the route which included towns of Gujjar Khan, Dina, Kharian, Sarai Alamgir, Wazirabad, Kamonki, and Muridke.
Read more: Enough with the VIP Protocols
The federal ministers from Punjab, the whole provincial cabinet, ruling party lawmakers and local government office-bearers reported having been given the task to ensure maximum participation of people in the rally.
Mr. Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to reach Lahore on Friday but given the elaborate plans made for the reception of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Grand Trunk Road, the PML-N rally may take four to six days to reach Lahore from Islamabad.
According to various sources, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and his predecessor Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan have warned Mr. Nawaz Sharif against proceeding to Lahore by road in the wake of recent terrorist incidents in Lahore. However, Mr. Sharif has refused to heed to any warnings and has decided to proceed with the planned journey.
Imran Khan stated that PML-N had a golden opportunity to distance itself from the Sharif family but it chose otherwise
PML-N in confrontational mode
The decision of ruling party to back Nawaz Sharif in a clear violation of Supreme Court’s decision indicates that the specter of confrontational politics has returned to Pakistani politics. PML-N has vowed that their main priority is the continuation of the democratic process but their words and actions have failed to reflect that commitment.
PTI, which is slowly recovering from Ayesha Gulalai’s scandalous allegations has accused the ruling party of endangering democracy by fanning unrest in the country.
Imran Khan stated that PML-N had a golden opportunity to distance itself from the Sharif family but it chose otherwise. On Tuesday, Khan announced that he has directed party workers to prepare for general elections since PTI is expecting early polls. He also expressed disappointment over the actions of incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Khan said that Abbasi should not have defended the Sharif family’s ‘corruption’.
The return of Mr. Tahirul Qadri at this juncture has exacerbated problems for Nawaz League. Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief who returned to Pakistan early Tuesday to “seek justice” for the victims of the 2014 Model Town killings, addressed a large gathering in Lahore’s Nasir Bagh later in the afternoon.
This yatra indicates that Mr. Sharif has finally decided to publically confront all the ‘conspirators’ who contrived to oust him from the Prime Minister office
Qadri heavily criticized the Sharif family, accusing them of undermining democracy and protecting the culprits behind the Model Town incident, which resulted in the killing of 14 people, including PAT workers, in clashes with police in Lahore’s Model Town on June 17, 2014.
The return of Tahirul Qadri and the increasing of pressure by PTI has increased the chance of confrontation between N-League and other political parties.
If chatters from the N-camp are any guide then this excursion is a very dangerous one. The 67-year old is all pumped up to re-establish himself as a torch-bearer of civilian supremacy. Wearing the tag of a political martyr may very well be Nawaz’s best bet to garner his non-existent legitimacy.