Monday January 24, 2022

An important message conveyed to Sharifs

The PML-N in general and its top leaders Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz in particular are under severe attack both from within the party and outside

January 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD: These days a key PML-N leader is very thick with some influential people including a retired old man. His contacts are known to the party’s top leadership, who don’t mind it either.

The leader instead served as a contact between the two sides. On the issue of extension, he had an important say but was being suspected for overdoing by many even in his own party.

A few weeks back he conveyed to his party’s top leadership in London an important message, which contained an offer for PML-N’s share in power.

Not that the party’s contact with influential quarters are new. During Nawaz Sharif’s days in Adiala Jail, he had welcomed a really influential man. A few weeks before Maryam Nawaz's arrested in Chaudhry Sugar Mill case, the same man once met her besides having a telephonic talk. However, nothing much had happened to the advantage of Sharifs during these interactions.

But now the things are changing as the thinking of the Sharifs has also changed. It is said that Sharifs top priority right now is to mend fences with the powers that be. The PML-N sources claim that the Sharifs are presently not keen to weigh the option of getting share in the power at this stage but do see fresh elections as the possible option to get out of the present situation.

The PML-N in general and its top leaders Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz in particular are under severe attack both from within the party and outside for taking what is generally considered as a complete U-turn on their last few years’ narrative in support of civilian supremacy.

Both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are presently inaccessible to the media but what other PML-N leaders say whether in public or privately appears unconvincing. Some leaders privately shift all the burden on one man- the contact person- but others could not believe that what the PMLN has been seen doing recently was without the consent of Nawaz Sharif.

There is also no explanation as to why Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz kept a mum if they were really misrepresented. Many in politics and in the media suspect that the PML-N’s recent somersault was in anticipation of some quid pro quo. Not many leaguers even have the idea if the party would get some share in the power or the Sharifs have been assured of some lasting relief for them as well as their party leaders, presently facing jail.

While the Sharif family has not spoken a word on the party’s U-turn, others offer no sound explanation for the act that has seriously damaged the party.

A PML-N leader closely associated with the Sharif family told The News on condition of not being named that they don’t want to further their sufferings at a time when Nawaz Sharif already has serious health issues. The source said that the PML-N leadership would want an end to the cases framed against them during the last few years.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are facing convictions, Shahbaz in on bail in different corruption cases filed by NAB, both the sons of Nawaz Sharif have been declared absconders, Shahbaz Sharif elder son is behind the bar in a NAB corruption reference while his younger son Suleman is in London as is wanted by NAB. Son in law of Nawaz was convicted and is on bail while Shahbaz’s son in law is outside Pakistan and is NAB’s absconder. Nawaz-Shahbaz’s deceased younger brother Abbas Sharif son is also in judicial custody in a NAB corruption case.

Besides Sharifs, key PML-N leaders like Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and his brother, Ahsan Iqbal etc. are also behind the bars facing NAB inquiries/ cases. Rana Sanaullah recently got bail in ANF’s heroin smuggling case framed against him while Miftah Ismail also got a similar relief from court in a NAB case. There are certain leaders including Khawaja Asif and Mian Javed Latif who also fear arrests.

Background interaction with some key PML-N leaders show that there is no clue even to important second tiers leaders in the PML-N as to what had made Nawaz Sharif to retreat from his last few years’ narrative.

Khawaja Asif was heard defending the Sharifs and their decision while referring to what the family had to face during the recent years. But there are many who are really upset. The upset ones including some of those who are presently either in NAB or judicial custody.