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Opinion

July 20, 2018

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A series of follies

What happened with former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif is quite unfortunate for the entire political arena. On various occasions, I tried to discuss with my former party leader the possible consequences of his actions. However, Mian Sahib was more influenced by his so-called advisers.

Being his well-wisher, I am dedicating today’s column to Mian Sahib with the hope that during his stay at Adiala Jail, he will have sufficient time to read and analyse all those factors that resulted in his political downfall.

Mian Sahib, the Adiala jail cell where you are currently imprisoned was actually constructed by none but your own self during your previous tenure. Mian Sahib, it seems that you were unable to distinguish between your friends and foes due to presence of sycophants around you. Do you remember when you were elected to lead the Pakistan Muslim League? Have you ever wondered why those who once expressed confidence in your leadership are no more with you?

While you want to see the PML-N propagating your narrative throughout the country in the name of sanctity of vote, the bitter truth is that your own brother and close aides are reluctant to own this narrative. You forget that you came to power three times on the basis of the vote – and nobody created hurdles in your way. Similarly, if you really want to honour the vote then why not just accept the results of the recently-held Senate elections and change in the Balochistan Assembly?

I had suggested several times the appointment of a Hindu chairperson for the Evacuee Trust Property Board, and even suggested the name of Honourable Rana Bhagwandas (late), the former chief Justice of Pakistan – but you had just turned a deaf ear. The incompetent chairperson appointed by you was later on dismissed by the Supreme Court on different complaints. And the PML-N also lost respect in the eyes of 35 lakh non-Muslim voters.

You must recall the time when you approached same Supreme Court against an elected prime minister. Rather than giving advice to others to resign and go home, you could also have resigned or dissolved the assemblies after the Panama scandal emerged. You had a golden opportunity to set a most laudable trend. But unfortunately your advisers suggested otherwise.

Mian Sahib, you enjoyed full authority during your tenure and never faced any undemocratic conspiracy. Sometimes a visionary political leader has to take some unwanted decisions for the best interest of the country but you failed to open four constituencies for the sake of democracy. When the sit-in outside parliament became longer than expected, again you were in no mood to initiate dialogue.

Because of the wrong policies of Ishaq Dar, the US dollar is climbing to the highest price of Rs130 day by day. Despite your claims of zero-loadshedding, the country is still facing electricity shortages. Further, the mishandling of the Faizabad protest also damaged the overall reputation of the PML-N. Why did you insist on keeping the ministries of foreign affairs and defence without ministers? You appointed the foreign affairs minister right at the end – when the matter was questioned by the honourable courts.

The PML-N’s social media cell has been saying that PML-N workers are forced to change their loyalties. I am of the view, though, that it is actually wrong policies and the blame-game with national institutions that have forced people to part ways. My observation is that a large number of people still love you but that they don’t support your narrative. Mian Sahib, I believe that an open apology would win you the trust of the public again. To ensure the sanctity of the vote in true letter and spirit, it is very necessary for everyone to accept the upcoming election results.

The writer is patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani

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