Comment: A wounded Nawaz to be more dangerous

July 28,2017

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LAHORE: In case PM Nawaz Sharif gets disqualified by the Supreme Court on Friday (today), it might usher in a new era of effective politicking on his behalf if he played the ball in an intelligent manner with courage, chalking out a comprehensive plan for promoting his party’s progressive agenda through a mass-contact drive, political pundits believe.

In such an eventuality, Mian Nawaz Sharif could grab the opportunity for reaching out to the people for narrating even the people for narrating even hidden facts how his prime ministership been hounded all along his tenure, culminating in his premature well-orchestrated end, wherein the most powerful institutions , it seems, played teams to hunt him down. The party sources say PM Nawaz Sharif will accept the decision with an open heart and pursue his goal of making the party more effective through his leadership, besides informing the people how he had been victimized yet again.

Mian Nawaz Sharif will now have a hands-on approach, controlling the party in a manner such platforms work in the advanced democracies. He can use his party as the drawing board for wetting issues, which are to be implemented by the government. He can make it an effective platform for helping the government in fresh legislation. Such a move would enhance the significance of the party, besides giving the party members the confidence they are contributing in running the affairs of the government in a better way. The party would have a huge responsibility rather than becoming a rubberstamp with no say in the government. Nawaz Sharif can give a new spin to the working of the party by making it a part and parcel of the government. He can translate this apparent setback into a huge success in the next elections through his leadership skills from outside. He will become a hero from zero in that scenario.

The way the JIT compiled a ten-volume report in mere 60 days and the manner the enquiry was conducted suggested some quarters were in a hurry to lock on the PM. The fact the JIT report even laid down legal suggestions, which were beyond its mandate and the prerogative of the SC Bench, hearing the case. Nawaz Sharif, pundits believe, might share all these controversial proceedings with the masses with an intent to abreast them the court was setting new precedents, which could land all cadres of society in trouble in future. For instance, if the court would follow the precedence of this case in similar legal pursuits in future, it would be impossible for almost everyone to defend the charges of corruption, true or false. How come someone keep all the record of one’s transactions, including small purchases like home appliances, cars etc if asked to present, say after 40 years. The PM would surely go out to the masses, telling them how his entire family was dragged into the matter and interrogated for transactions, which had taken place decades back. It’s quite hard to keep the record. Even the legal fraternity believes the JIT’s handling is controversial, especially Whatsapp call, photo leak, etc, leave aside the compilation of such a huge document in just 60 days.

Some credible legal eagles are seriously concerned on the configuration of the JIT. The induction of two members, at least, who had a clear ’conflict of interest’ with the Sharif family, besides the inclusion of members of the sensitive agencies casts a shadow on the investigation. This was no ordinary investigation, rather the PM of the country was being tried, and the Supreme Court, seemingly, agreed to rely on their verdict, raising concerns even on the basis on which the PM’s fate was to be decided, believe some retired judges.

More interesting is the fact the SC Bench has not even considered handing over the case to different judges. This decision of the court, that is, the same bench would decide the case makes things murkier. The legal fraternity has a strong reservation to this fact, saying it would have been much better had the bench opted for changing the judges after so much controversies surfaced in the backdrop of the JIT mess. Sane heads among the fraternity have objected to remarks like ‘Nawaz becoming a God Father’. Many retired judges are of the opinion the judiciary is going through its worst crisis. They believe the judiciary should have played its role in an impartial manner since the Panama Leak case had more to do with politics. Some retired judges even have an objection on the legal course of invoking Article 184(3) in this case, which robs the defendant of the right to appeal.

On the other hand, many jurist hail the role of the judiciary, saying it was setting new standards of impartiality and independence. Some parties are also supporting the judicial activism at the same time on the pretext a new chapter in the history of judiciary was being added, wherein a sitting PM had not only been brought to the dock, but could also be penalized for being corrupt.

Once the verdict lands, the people would start seeking quick justice in all pending sensitive cases, which are lingering on for years. The judiciary is bound to face this kind of pressure from the quarters, which are observing the proceedings of the Panama Case. Add to this the criticism, stemming from the anger of disqualification of former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani at the hands of former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The most important aspect of this case and a possible verdict against PM Nawaz Sharif is the fact these events are taking place at a time when the credible media has a mass appeal. The decision is bound to trigger immediate debates on the visual media, which reaches almost every home in the country in realtime. Once the decision is made public, it would spark instant reaction and every word PM Nawaz would say after the probable disqualification would be grabbed by the credible media house and aired because it would become hard and hot news, which no credible and serious channel would afford to miss. It’s not the age of newspapers, when the news reached few people and the time-lapse was relatively greater. The newspapers’ age was effective; nevertheless, the visual media impact is just enormous in terms of reach and time. In the past, the removal of Nawaz Sharif, Zulfiqar Bhutto etc didn’t evoke a strong response from media because of their authoritarian policies. They tried to harness the media so the response was in kind.

However, this time around, PM Nawaz Sharif had given complete freedom to the media. He didn’t take any step no matter what he had to face from his critics. It is believed the PM became victim of external conspiracies with decision like not sending troops to Yemen, not approving any aggression against Iran and managing successfully the CPEC Project, which irks the US and its allies. He had behaved as statesman in the international scenario. The PM faced the initial shocks when he had not even assumed the office over his desire to improve relations with India. Zarbe Azb, peace in Karachi and many such things are on his credit. After a long time the World Bank, International Monetary bank and Moody’s ratings were positive. He took everything to the parliament instead of taking unilateral decisions despite the fact he treaded a troubled path with sit-ins and all other such major and minor conspiracies being hatched against his government.

Interestingly, during his this term, so far, he reached out to liberal forces without leaving his rightist image. This shift in his approach won him many new friends. This was a great achievement.


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