Home Opinion Op-Ed Will Jehlum be remembered in Pakistan’s political history as Nawaz’s Waterloo?

Will Jehlum be remembered in Pakistan’s political history as Nawaz’s Waterloo?

Will PPP outsmart both PTI & PML-N in Punjab by supporting independent candidates?

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Waqas Shabbir |

We read in our school books that Alexander’s Greek army had defeated Raja Porus, but refused going beyond Jehlum. Well, its not fair to compare history’s immortal Greek conqueror with Pakistan’s ill-fated ex-Prime Minister – kicked out of office for lying by country’s supreme court. But brining in Jehlum’s role into Nawaz’s journey towards ever increasing defeat is tempting. It’s here, in the beginning of May, that Nawaz’s whirlwind journey across Punjab to woe the voters started to falter.

Though he has since then received a bit of respite in Chishtian, yet, he remains an outdated cast in Pakistan’s political scene, which is moving fast after his pro-India statements and after putting up a lackluster defense in accountability court – he denied ownership of the Avenfield apartments, despite initially claiming on record the “family sources” of its purchase.

Nawaz has practically no way avenues left, [after he announced his crusade against the Pakistani institutions for not allowing him a respectable exit in corruption cases] unless, he gets a last-minute help from international establishment.

Read more: Legal skirmishes between PTI & PML-N government continue

Nawaz’s Ignored Slogans in Jhelum are the Start of the Endgame in Punjab

In Jhelum, PML-N was humiliated. The city appears to be on course to elect PTI’s candidate Fawad Chaudhary. The dent in PML-N’s politics in the city had started back in 2015 by-elections when Nawabzada Matloob Mehdi narrowly defeated Fawad Chaudhary. The victory margin of 73,408 votes in 2013 was reduced to only 8,000 votes. The defection to PTI from PML-Q played a major part in turn in his fortunes in 2015 as his votes increased by staggering 118%.

As PTI looks to make the next government, Fawad is favorite to win in Jhelum’s NA-67.

Jhelum was cruel to its past king. The man who ruled Jhelum for decades and enjoyed unparalleled support saw his empire crumbling down. Jhelum dethroned him. Discouraged Nawaz went on to cancel his rallies in Chakwal, and Gujjar Khan. He did turn up finally in Multan, but it remained a lackluster show.

Though, Buner was better, but nowhere near the charged crowed which was at display in Southern Punjab Tehsil Chishtian. The popularity of Nawaz was dwindling especially after his anti-establishment and anti-Pakistan statement in the local daily. With no much public enthusiasm in his previous outings, what changed in Chishtian is intriguing?

Political circus in Pakistan is keeping a good show. Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz is all guns, blazing against the country’s institutions which decided to stay put with all the national and international pressure to offer him NRO-II.

Was it the promised Iftar dinner, which Nawaz Shairf himself announced on stage or something else? He heaped praise at the crowed for showing up in numbers, which may have charged them up to respond strongly to his slogans.

Read more: JI’s strange affair with PML-N

Can Fawad Chaudhary win in Jhelum?

Post Chishtian’s turnaround for Nawaz, GVS spoke with PTI’s information secretary Fawad Chaudhary on PTI’s chances in Jhelum and overall position in Punjab. PTI’s leader was confident to win the NA-67- Jhelum II seat. “If PTI’s two groups, in NA-66 manage to sort the differences, it will be a one-way election for us in Jhelum,” he asserted.

He said that PTI is facing on one-to-one fight against PML-N in 115-seats in Punjab out of 141 seats-which are up for grabs. A survey conducted by the Dunya News analyst, Habib Akram pointed out that PTI is in position to win 30-odd seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The word of mouth is extremely positive in the province after PTI’s first ever government in the province.

Responding to a question on overall chances in Punjab, he believes, PTI has a good chance of making next government in Punjab. Since, 2013, PML-Q and PPP have been completely wiped out, as a result, anti-PML-N voters will vote for PTI, he said. PTI has received staggering 1,900 applications for 291-Punjab seats for the upcoming elections, he added.

Tide in Punjab is favoring PTI. But, at the same time, it has put the PTI leadership in a very difficult position. It effectively means that, 6-7 candidates have applied for one provincial seat in Punjab. It has its own drawbacks. The probability is high that defection to PTI from PML-N will witness a reverse trend.

The popularity of Nawaz was dwindling especially after his anti-establishment and anti-Pakistan statement in the local daily. With no much public enthusiasm in his previous outings, what changed in Chishtian is intriguing?

Fawad thinks, disheartened candidates will leave PTI, if denied the tickets. But, if they leave, they will not defect to PML-N, rather they will go independent. “Independent candidates are the major threat to PTI, even bigger than the crises-ridden N-League,” he added.

Read more: Dissolution of PML-N continues, as three more MNA’s opt to leave…

PML-N’s Supreme leader is conducting a ludicrous exercise in cities, and towns, he is visiting. He shamelessly asks people to give verdict on his innocence in corruption cases. It means, if a person gets accused of murder or theft, he should gather people to take vote in his favor to discredit the courts guilty judgment.

Nawaz has practically no way avenues left, [after he announced his crusade against the Pakistani institutions for not allowing him a respectable exit in corruption cases] unless, he gets a last-minute help from international establishment.

After spending 35-years in politics and serving the country on three-occasions and ruling for almost 25-years as Chief Minister and PM, if he is unable to defend himself in courts, he has no right to defend himself in ‘courts of people.’ He has chosen his way, now law of the land will choose its way, which will not be too appealing for a man caught red handed in embezzlement and corruption in front of entire nation, yet he has the audacity to face people and scream on his innocence.

Waqas Shabbir is a Derby Business School graduate in Finance, currently working as a freelance writer. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. The writer seems to be pro PTI and talking about Fawad Chaudhary a confused lawyer cum TV anchor and who changed three parties in just 5 years i.e. PML-Q to PPP and then to PTI and it will go on! Lust for power.

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