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News Analysis |

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court on Tuesday in relation to corruption references filed against him. The brief hearing lasted only 5 minutes; Nawaz was allowed to leave upon him telling the court about the need to attend his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz.

Democrats must ensure that laws are implemented, accountability is not impeded and convicted persons are not glorified. Nawaz is getting a king’s reception

Nawaz graced the accountability court with full pomp and show. The 50-car entourage escorted to the court. Federal ministers and lawmakers accompanied him to the court. The protocol accorded to him was that which is given incumbent political office holders.The caravan did not, by any means appeared to be that of a disqualified lawmaker who is on the cusp of the further indictment, besides being caught in acts of forgery.

Nawaz arrived in Islamabad on Monday, ostensibly to appear before the court.This was seen as a drastic decision after continually vowing to duck proceedings. The sudden change in the plan after the initial chest-thumping from the PML-N and Maryam Nawaz was attributed to creating optics to elicit sympathies.

Read more: NAB claims will chase the Sharifs in London as they attempt…

NAB had also summoned Hassan and Hussain Nawaz today but they yet again failed to appear before the accountability court. Spelling more trouble for the scions of Nawaz, NAB issued bailable arrest warrants of Hassan, Hussain, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar. They said persons have been ordained to appear before the court on 2nd October.

In a rather outrageously inexplicable development, the payment to the lobbyist for the Sharif family is being done by the Intelligence Bureau

NAB officials have sent summons to the Sharif family but prior to today, the family has shown utter defiance. It puts question marks on the independence of the controversial DG NAB, Qamar Zaman. While officials are trying to chase the family, it can be reasonably expected that the PML-N government is putting the weight on its handpicked DG.

Nawaz Sharif will hold a press conference at the Punjab today according to PML-N Senator, Asif Kirmani. The 67-year old has been debarred from taking part in political activities in-line with the Panama verdict. However, not only is accorded state-level protocol, lawmakers including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi hold him in high esteem and take a nod of ratification from him in running the government.

Federal minister for state, Talal Chaudhary received Nawaz when he landed in the country.Moreover, the Speaker of the very Assembly from which Nawaz was disqualified, Ayaz Sadiq was also in the welcoming squad.

Read more: NAB: National or Nawaz’s Accountability Bureau?

However, not only is accorded state-level protocol, lawmakers including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi hold him in high esteem and take a nod of ratification from him in running the government

While accountability is the essence of democracy, the incumbent government is not only flouting the orders of the court but also violating the Constitution. A convicted and disqualified person cannot be given a kingly protocol. Instead of expediting the implementation of the Panama verdict, the PML-N government is a party to the nefarious campaign against state institutions just to save one man.

In a rather outrageously inexplicable development, the payment to the lobbyist for the Sharif family is being done by the Intelligence Bureau (IB). While in power, Nawaz did not renew the term of Pakistan’s only lobbyist in the US, he was quick to hire one for himself. Amid the intense war of narratives, Pakistan paid dearly for lackluster lobbying, for despite meritorious sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, the US continues to shun the country’s narrative.

Read more: Will NAB references compel “natural allies” to shake hands?

PML-N Leaders meet, discuss, and take dictation from Nawaz Sharif. If anything, this is something that is against the very essence of democracy. Democrats must ensure that laws are implemented, accountability is not impeded and convicted persons are not glorified. Nawaz is getting a king’s reception; lawmakers are respecting him even more as the noose tightens in and around him. This is damaging for the system that we call, democracy.

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