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Former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan earlier today after spending a month in London with her ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz. He was accompanied by neither his sons nor his daughter. Nawaz who deposed from premiership owing to forgery and corruption in the Panama verdict was warmly received by incumbent lawmakers and Ministers. The receiving party included Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Minister for State for Interior Talal Chaudhary and Mehtab Abbasi.

It is the sudden change in plans that merit analysts to mull over these lines. Moreover, democracy or the government for that matter is functioning; the PML-N is in power; the Parliament is well in place

The protocol accorded to a disqualified lawmaker is brazen and amazing. While the noose of accountability is tightening, PML-N leaders including the premier hold Nawaz in high esteem. It would not be wrong to say that all of them are violating the orders of the Supreme Court. In their latest and most inimical act against democracy, lawmakers have ratified a bill which allows disqualified persons to take part in politics.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif kay ‘BACHAY’ or ‘Sons & Daughter’?

The 67-year old has returned to the country a day before he is slated to appear before the accountability courts in relation to NAB references filed against him and his family. It has somewhat laid to rest speculation that the family will avert NAB hearings.Last week, NAB had shown consternation over the constant absence from reference proceedings.

NAB had given the family 26th September as the deadline to appear before the courts. However, statements from the party and family members showed that the Sharifs will show defiance. “Nawaz Sharif is not going to appear before any accountability court. If you want to arrest him then go ahead,” said Maryam Nawaz last week.

Maryam’s tweets inkle towards the idea that the appearance in the court is a part of Nawaz’s quest for “saving democracy”, something which he has claimed to be threatened by forces to include the dreaded establishment

However, in a drastic turn of events, Nawaz has arrived in the country amid cheers from his party loyalists. Senator Asif Kirmani, who is regarded as a spokesman for the family said that Nawaz will appear before accountability courts tomorrow, while his son Hussain will also be returning to appear in the very court.

Interestingly it was Mr. Kirmani who gave a non-committal response to NAB last week when he was asked about whether the family will ‘grace’ NAB or not. He gingerly said that he cannot give a day of the return of the Sharifs.

Read more: The dusk of Nawaz Sharif era

While embarking on a PIA flight to Islamabad, Nawaz reiterated that he hasn’t done any corruption. He said:” “We did not commit any corruption. If this was about Panama [Papers], then why was I disqualified for holding an Iqama?”

The PML-N has been stressing that the five-member bench of the Supreme Court has disrespected the mandate of the people. Ministers also joined the Sharif family in disparaging the courts and pointing towards hands of hidden forces. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while meeting Nawaz Sharif earlier this month said that conspiracies are being hatched against his party.

NAB had given the family 26th September as the deadline to appear before the courts. However, statements from the party and family members showed that the Sharifs will show defiance

It was expected that the family will look for more excuses to duck NAB proceedings but the sudden decision to face NAB is rather interesting. Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter to tell that his father will face the court which according to her is a matter of great valor and courage. She, however, said that his father is paying the price for changing something much-needed. She asserted that his father was fighting for 200 million people of his country.

Maryam’s tweets inkle towards the idea that the appearance in the court is a part of Nawaz’s quest for “saving democracy”, something which he has claimed to be threatened by forces to include the dreaded establishment. Nawaz who is not only a product of a dictatorial regime but in the past had used the very forces to subvert democracy.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif disqualified by Court: UK must act on Sharif’s assets

Ministers also joined the Sharif family in disparaging the courts and pointing towards hands of hidden forces. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while meeting Nawaz Sharif earlier this month said that conspiracies are being hatched against his party

Since it is expected that the sword of accountability will get the better of him, more punitive punishments could be meted out to him with a term in jail is one of them. The optics could be politically important for Nawaz as it may garner him world sympathies on a twisted pretext: Elected leaders are thrown behind the bars and hanged by the men in uniform.

It is the sudden change in plans that merit analysts to mull over these lines. Moreover, democracy or the government for that matter is functioning; the PML-N is in power; the Parliament is well in place. As far as the Constitution is concerned, it was put to use in the Panama Case as neither Articles 62 and 63 nor 184(3) were outside the ambit of the Constitution. If anything, the verdict of the court introduced the most important yet least practiced plank of democracy: Accountability. Who is Nawaz fighting against is a no-brainer: Rawalpindi.

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