News Analysis |
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is all in readiness for his excursion to Lahore on the historic Grand Trunk Road. The bomb blast in Lahore on Monday compelled N League stalwarts in Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhary Nisar to warn Sharif about the trip. However, the deposed premier is determined to undertake the journey.
A special bomb proof container has been prepared for Nawaz Sharif. Parked outside the Punjab House, the container is fully equipped with all necessary facilities, including separate compartments for a drawing room and a bedroom.
Imran hit the roads against the sitting government over rigging and the need for an election audit, the PML-N’s protest appears unreasonable given that it is in power
Previously containers have been used by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Sharif’s arch-rival in Imran Khan. The latter’s use of a luxurious container during the 126-day long sit-in in 2014 was criticized and jeered at not only by PML-N but by scribes, journalists and analysts alike.
As Nawaz Sharif sets out to hit GT Road today, the PML-N is busy marketing the event on social media, while preparations are in full swing to welcome someone they call as the real premier. The government has reportedly debuted an SP in violation of laws as Sharif’s security officer. It has also been revealed that another officer of SP rank is in-charge of security at Sharif’s personal residence in Jati Umra, Raiwind.
Many have shown consternation regarding the use of public money and facilities for the highly-touted rally. Not only have eyebrows been raised on promoting a party event but serious exceptions have been taken on this being done for a disqualified premier.
Using Govt/Public resources to welcome a dishonest disqualified public office holder!!! Shame on us for allowing this to happen! pic.twitter.com/RbA1e9xChh
— Hamza Ali Abbasi (@iamhamzaabbasi) August 8, 2017
PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood took to Twitter to show his reservations on the use of state machinery. He tweeted:”Nawaz Sharif has every right to go on whichever road he wants to but the use of state machine/money to advertise and collect people deplorable.”
Nawaz Sharif has every right to go on whichever road he wants to but use of state machine/money to advertise and collect people deplorable
— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) August 9, 2017
PML-N had berated PTI for hitting the roads in 2014 and 2016. As of this writing, federal ministers are all in readiness for the tour de GT road. PML-N’s Amir Muqam today said that the people of KP will show Imran Khan that they are with Nawaz Sharif.
— Capital TV (@CapitalTV_News) August 9, 2017
The government has reportedly debuted an SP in violation of laws as Sharif’s security officer.
Earlier today, the flamboyant Railway minister, Saad Rafique shared pictures of the pre-departure meeting in the Punjab House which was also attended by the current premier, Shahid Khaqan Abbassi. Saad Rafique and many others have been mocking Imran Khan and his party for being a road king and a loser on the ballot. Now his open ratification of the road journey is being questioned.
The latter’s use of a luxurious container during the 126-day long sit-in in 2014 was criticized and jeered at not only by PML-N but by scribes, journalists and analysts alike
While Imran hit the roads against the sitting government over rigging and the need for an election audit, the PML-N’s protest appears unreasonable given that it is in power. Questions are being raised on the likely targets of this rally. Opponents including Khan are of the opinion that Nawaz has launched the surge against the judiciary and the Army. The comparisons between Khan’s use of street power with this GT Road journey are far-fetched.
While taking to streets is a democratic right and process, defying the court isn’t a hallmark of democracy. It appears that the 67-year old Sharif is all set to confront the military and the judiciary. Analysts predict that Nawaz will be more defiant, more open and more ferocious in his opposition. He is most likely to use street power as a tool to wrest back his lost legitimacy even though the process poses an imminent threat of system’s derailment. Perhaps that is his best bet.