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August 9, 2017
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Rivals fail to stop Nawaz’s GT Road show

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August 9, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Mission “stop Nawaz Sharif’s GT Road show” failed midnight Tuesday because of its inherent contradictions, over stretch and overplay employed by the political and small screen characters – planners included. But the major credit goes to illogical argument and bad planning employed to stop such a public show from taking place on flimsy grounds.

As of Wednesday (today), the Islamabad to Lahore event is all set to take off with all the pomp and show. The real test of the show will however be the public sentiment and presence no one would be able to conceal or deny despite the usual claims and counters expected on Wednesday evening. Millions of PML-N voters and supporters along this historic road however hold the trump card in making or breaking deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s political fortune – yet again. By turning up in thousands and more, they can instantly revive his ability to jump back from a disadvantageous post Panama case political position to a commanding one. They can also dash his hopes by staying put at their homes and streets – and record a silent protest.

Imran Khan’s PTI and his Canadian national political cousin Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri (TuQ) made repeated last ditch efforts throughout the last few days to stop deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif’s GT Road rally slated for early Wednesday (today). First, in the name of national interest. Then on account of security concern for their arch political adversary. Last but not the least -- legal maneuvers and options. But to no avail, till the filing of this report. As a result, they didn’t get any political mileage, forcing political fence sitters and so called “neutrals” to take a wild guess -- do they (PML-N adversaries) fear strong effects of such a show would dampen their near future political prospects, especially after post Panama euphoria?

Political fortunes do turn topsy turvey every now and then, unexpectedly. Surprise, isn’t it? Within days the Sharif gains pleading innocence, claiming grounds for his disqualification were a bit flimsy, disputed. And then Ayesha Gulelalai lands with a bang raising pointed questions on the “sadiq and amin” credentials of Imran Khan himself, compelling the whole party to raise all their voices in tandem to save the top leader. An accusation storm follows, forcing every Tom, Dick and Harry in the PTI to hurl corruption accusations against their party colleague who was enjoying every immunity till now before accusing Imran Khan on moral and KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak for alleged government corruption. Now every PTI wala loves to call her a PML-agent. The buck didn’t stop here.

The PTI women bandwagon rushed to Lahore the other day to seek justice for Ayesha Ahad who is already fighting a legal battle (for the last six years or so) against her ex husband Hamza Shahbaz, the powerful political heir of Punjab chief minister. The effort fizzled out quickly but not before providing the top PTI leader with a “Tweet opportunity” to equate Ayesha Ahad case with that of Ayesha Gulalai. And then backtrack his earlier stance on a parliamentary committee to investigate his issue that revolves around sending lewd messages to his party legislator, and much more. The aggrieved rebel legislator however employed all her tribal courage to brave the National Assembly on Monday, and it required a chorus of protest from all the brave PTI men and women legislators to try in vain to silence her. That didn’t happen. She delivered her speech paying no attention to Dr Shireen Mazari’s “stranger in the house” Westminister style phrase. They know leader Imran loves western political and parliamentary norms. But stops short of implementing the same, citing peculiar Pakistani conditions.

Just the other day, PTI leader Mr Khan blamed Mr Sharif for hatching a conspiracy against state institutions, TuQ was rushed to Lahore for a possible Dharna sequel-3 at a place – Islamabad or Lahore – to be decided by the disciplined planners soon. But Sharif, his party, supporters seem resolved to carry out this “mission political revival” despite heavy odds. Imran didn’t stop here. Aided by his brainy political advisers he not only demanded an immediate halt of PML-N’s GT Road political show, but had the audacity to ask the ruling party to distance itself from the disqualified Sharif.

Amidst all the pomp and show, Khan tends to overreact, overstep his political ambit that does not extend to the internal affairs of the other political party. But then a fast bowler in him tends to throw bouncers, and no balls too, when he feels a match having been almost won is fast racing towards a draw. Few weeks back, he was content with the possibility of him being disqualified provided he brings rival Sharif down from premiership.

Part of his political goal achieved, he now tends to overreact -- naturally or otherwise   But all this prompts pointed and intriguing queries as to why a storm is being gathered by a particular block of politicians, television anchors, single track analysts etc to stop Sharif’s political show. Some are coming up with twisted logic that since Sharif has been deposed and rendered ineligible for life from contesting elections so he cannot take Part in political activities.

Others come up with a novel idea that since he has been disqualified by  the apex court which has ordered NAB to file references against the whole family so his political show goes against the spirit of the court decision. Rather it amounts to put pressure on future proceedings against him and family.

And so on. Surprisingly, Sharif is again showing signs of withering yet another political storm even when this time around his political foes seem sure his fate has been sealed.

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