Judge Mohammad Bashir of Accountability Court-1, who is hearing graft cases against the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, retires in the third week of March-that’s 21 days from today. On 13 September 2017, Judge Mohammad Bashir had issued summons on the basis of the reference against Nawaz Sharif and his family regarding ownership of offshore companies that was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
On 13 March 2018, the six-month deadline set by the Supreme Court of Pakistan will be over. Lo and behold, a lot has already happened and a lot more will be happening in the following 21 days. Nawaz Sharif’s current political strategy revolves around three pillars. First – trying to move his legal battles from the Supreme Court to the ‘court of the people’. Second – trying to influence the courts through his street power.
The Maldives National Defense Force stormed the Supreme Court and arrested the judges. The president won. In Pakistan, a lot has already happened and a lot more will be happening in the following 21 days.
Third – preparing crowds to reject the decision of the accountability court (in case the decision goes against Nawaz Sharif). Apparently, all three pillars have come down crashing. Undoubtedly, Nawaz Sharif’s strategy has had successes. Focus on his politics: Nawaz Sharif is playing anti-establishment politics while Shehbaz Sharif plays pro-establishment politics. Lo and behold, whoever wins the Sharif family wins.
Focus on his politics: Nawaz Sharif is both the government and the opposition. Can anyone beat that? Focus on his politics: It started out as Nawaz Sharif versus the Judiciary. Lo and behold, now it is Parliament versus the Judiciary. The billion-dollar question now is the ‘war of succession’ within the PML(N). To be certain, Nawaz Sharif’s relationship with party senators, MNAs and MPAs is not an ideological one.
The leaders in our political parties maintain their grip over their parties through three means: party tickets, development funds and the 14th Amendment. What will happen to Nawaz Sharif’s grip over PML(N) if he is unable to deliver either the party tickets or development funds? Next. A five-member SC bench has already completed hearing a set of appeals to determine the period of disqualification of a member of parliament. Plus, a verdict out of the accountability court is expected in March.
On February 5, President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency and ordered Major-General Ahmed Shivam, the Chief of Defense Force (total personnel: 5,000), to arrest the judges of the Supreme Court.
Who within PML(N) will capture future strategy-hawks or doves? This will be critical because Nawaz Sharif’s political future will depend on the strategy adopted. Who will be the new President PML(N)? Two choices: The Altaf Hussain Model or a new hybrid? If Kulsoom Nawaz is picked as the new president then Nawaz Sharif is seeking to further the conflict.
If Shehbaz Sharif is picked then there’s some meaningful transition. The other billion-dollar question is: ‘who are the guns with?’ On February 1, the Maldives Supreme Court ordered the release of imprisoned opposition politicians. President Abdulla Yameen defied the Supreme Court’s orders. On February 5, President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency and ordered Major-General Ahmed Shivam, the Chief of Defense Force (total personnel: 5,000), to arrest the judges of the Supreme Court.
At that point in time the balance of power was in the hands of Major-General Ahmed Shivam. The Maldives National Defense Force stormed the Supreme Court and arrested the judges. The president won. In Pakistan, a lot has already happened and a lot more will be happening in the following 21 days.
The author has Ph.D. (Financial Economics) from Western Illinois University. The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.