Rebuttal
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News Analysis |

On Wednesday Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) hit back at the 23-page verdict of the Supreme Court on the review petition filed by former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. The news release of PML-N described Tuesday’s decision as an example of “prejudice, bigotry, anger, and provocation.”

The Verdict

Justices Ejaz Afzal and Asif Saeed Khosa previously gave some scathing remarks about the former premier, Nawaz Sharif. Noting the slippery manner in which the Sharifs carried themselves during and after proceedings, Justice Ejaz said: “Resignation rather than prevarication in ambiguous terms is [a] more honorable exit if and when anything secretly carried under the sanctimonious gown of leadership drops and gets sighted.”

Read more: Nawaz boxed in? Court rejects plea to club NAB references!

Justice Ejaz summarized this attitude in an Urdu couplet at the end of his remarks.”  Idhar udhar ki na baat kar, yeh bata keh qafla kyon luta. Mujhe rahzanoon se gila nahin teri rehbari ka sawal hai (Don’t beat around the bush; explain why the caravan was robbed. I have no grudge against the dacoits, but doubt your leadership).

Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, who believes in working along with all organs of the state, has reportedly warned his brother against a tussle with the institutions.

Justice Saeed was far more outspoken in his enunciations regarding the 67-year old Nawaz. He said that Nawaz was not forthright in answering questions thrown at him. “He never came forth with the entire truth” and “tried to fool the people inside and outside the parliament.” Justice Saeed expressed his indignation on the continuous efforts on part of the former lawmaker to deceive the court. He said: “[Nawaz] even tried to fool the court without realizing that ‘you can fool all the people for some of the time, some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time’.”

The Post-disqualification narrative of the Sharif family has been based on the question: mujhey kyun nikala? In a bid to garner sympathy and rally around support, the 67-year old, his party, and family members continually expressed surprise and indignation on the “frivolous” grounds on which the disqualification was done. Also, the decision is being linked with a conspiracy to subvert democracy, something that watchers and experts have not come to grips with.

PML-N and Nawaz’s Response

The communique took exceptions to the tone and tenor of the verdict. “The language used in the detailed verdict was not up to the judicial standards,” the statement read while asserting that the apex court is influencing the subordinate courts.

On Wednesday Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) hit back at the 23-page verdict of the Supreme Court on the review petition filed by former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.

The release stressed that Sharif’s struggle for the restoration of the judges finds a place in the annals of history. While expressing the party’s will to continue strengthening the judiciary, the statement called out the past judgments of the apex court under the “doctrine of necessity”. The statement said:” It’s not a question of rulers, but justice.” PML-N added that “the leaders are facing the courts even today; we would like to know where the bandits are.” This was in reference to the judiciary’s inefficiency in bringing former dictators to justice.

The tough response is in line with the strategy of the ruling party ever since the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif.

Read more: Supreme Court issues detailed verdict of review petition; refuses to give…

Sharif has ramped up the narrative that his disqualification was part of a wider conspiracy to subvert and derail democracy. He reiterated the very thoughts on Wednesday. “This grudge, anger and words will become a dark chapter of history.” He said that the judiciary has inked many dark chapters throughout the country’s history, adding that this decision is one of them.

All is not well

Experts and observers are aware of the fact that Nawaz finds himself in dire straits as his legal options have depleted. According to many, Sharif’s strategy to wriggle himself out is very risky. Besides, his seemingly confrontational style is finding little support from within his family and party.

Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, who believes in working along with all organs of the state, has reportedly warned his brother against a tussle with the institutions. Well-placed sources in the PML-N said that Nawaz Sharif strongly rejected the suggestion of his younger brother.

Justice Ejaz summarized this attitude in an Urdu couplet at the end of his remarks.”  Idhar udhar ki na baat kar, yeh bata keh qafla kyon luta. Mujhe rahzanoon se gila nahin teri rehbari ka sawal hai

According to reports, Nawaz Sharif went to Murree to meet Shahbaz Sharif but the latter did not make the trip. Shahbaz avoided the meeting because his elder brother is in no mood to ‘mend his ways’. Infuriated with the court, Nawaz Sharif is limbering up for a battle of attrition, much to the dismay of the “Shahbaz Camp”.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif appears in accountability court

Observers feel that now the ball is in the court of the ruling party. Will it act as a party fully in control of the government and ensure clean accountability or will it pander to the interests of Sharif and ilk? Regardless, the politics of confrontation is untenable for the country.

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