Battles are won by the one who enjoys the support of the masses

February 16, 2018 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , Pakistan , POLITICS

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By

Imad Zafar

 

Victories are the pathways to glory. It is natural that a winner while on the journey to success makes a lot of enemies. The recent Lodhran by-poll result in which surprisingly a very weak candidate of the PMLN defeated the son of PTI’s most influential person, Jahangir Khan, has created much more difficulties for Sharif. This was a surprising win as even Sharif and his party was not hopeful of winning the NA-154 by-poll seat.

The invisible forces responsible for Sharif’s ouster, PTI, and the critics all were surprised and shocked. The Lodhran by-poll result validated the fact that Sharif’s narrative of “Respect my vote” has won the hearts of the masses. In a surprising chain of events, soon after this huge win, Pakistan’s NAB opened two more references against Sharif and his daughter.

It in fact requested the interior ministry to put the names of Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, on the exit control list so they cannot escape the country amid the decisions of the accountability court in the controversial Panama Papers case. If this was not enough the Supreme Court, much to the surprise of the legal fraternity, passed very harsh comments against Sharif in two different cases. Right now, with the amount of cases Sharif is facing in the Supreme Court and NAB, it seems that the honorable court and invisible forces want to indict Sharif and his daughter in every single crime that is taking place in the country.

The ‘below the belt’ language in the observations given by the honorable judges of the court in recent days are making it very clear that there is a bias and frustration in the camps of opponents of Sharif. The honorable court’s unnecessary interest in challenging the law passed by the National Assembly and the senate which grants the permission to Sharif to become president of his political party even after the disqualification is creating doubts among the legal fraternity and civil society.

As per the constitution the Supreme Court of Pakistan only can interpret the laws made by parliament, it has no authority to declare them null and void until and unless they are deemed anti-state or anti-religious laws. The judicial activism of the courts and NAB’s policy of victimizing Sharif is actually making him more popular and stronger with each passing day. What the invisible forces are unable to understand is that Sharif is actually making them play on his pitch and knows that every single move against him is exposing the nexus of invisible forces and a few of the judges of the higher courts.

The establishment has decided that they will not accept Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in mainstream politics and to achieve the desired result they are willing to go to any extent. On the other hand Sharif and his daughter have also decided to fight for their survival to the very end and have burned all their boats. The rift between the establishment and Sharif has actually jeopardized the functioning of the government. It has resulted in putting all energies and resources into this cold war and as a result Pakistan is suffering from an economic crisis and the risk of being declared a state that is sponsoring terrorist sanctuaries on its own land.

In Islamabad, instead of thinking about how to build a strong narrative and policy against the biased policy of the Trump administration or to put a focus on controlling the price hikes and plight of capital and investment, every single player of the power chess board is busy in weakening each other. It is a sad state, and it seems that we are not ready to learn from our mistakes.

The invisible forces have no right to decide who will conduct politics and who will not and neither are the courts meant to reject the collective wisdom of the masses. Calling someone ‘Godfather’ and ‘thief’ without any proven accusation does not look good, especially if you are a judge and listening to the cases pertinent to that person.

Sharif’s outburst after Thursday’s court proceedings was natural and he expressed it very loud and clear, that he will not tolerate the language used by the court any more. He actually raised the question as to how can the judges who took oath under PCO and validated Musharraf’s emergency and martial law, give moral lectures to others. This is a clear indication that Sharif is in no mood for a compromise or deal with the invisible forces.

While the world is busy declaring us a terrorist friendly country we are heading towards a situation of anarchy. The way the court is acting like a de facto government is unprecedented. The fear is what will happen if Sharif does not accept the verdict of the court or his supporters come to the streets against the courts. It will further damage the credibility of the honorable court and will actually lead to a law and order situation. The courts sadly have aligned with the invisible forces and are repeating history by victimizing politicians on behest of the invisible forces. Will the people of Pakistan, especially the Punjab, tolerate the humiliation of their popular leader, remains the question.

 

The growing anger in Punjab against the alleged military and courts nexus is alarming. Upto now the masses are showing their anger and disapproval by voting Sharif’s PMLN in each and every by-election. If the sanctity of the vote is not recognized anymore and the process of victimizing the politicians who refuse to take dictation continues, then it will not take much time for the masses to come out on the streets. They are in fact responding to each and every call of Sharif.

The dejected and defeated Mr Khan is banking heavily upon the courts and NAB to indict Sharif and his daughter and send them to jail, so in the upcoming elections he can face a weaker PMLN headed by Shehbaz Sharif, the younger Sharif. This thought process actually defines the poor strategy of Khan and the invisible forces. If elections are held and Sharif is sent to jail, then he will certainly win big in the elections. If the invisible forces are thinking that by indicting Sharif in corruption cases or by disqualifying him even from heading his party can loosen his grip on the decision making then they are totally wrong. Sharif can never lose grip on his party as his party actually grabs the votes based on his name. If you take his name away the party has no worth.

His successor is Maryam Nawaz and she is the one who will run the affairs of the party and government in future. It seems that history is repeating itself. Zulfikar Bhutto was victimized which eventually resulted in his daughter coming to politics who became the first female prime minister of Pakistan. And now Sharif is being victimized and his daughter Maryam Nawaz is in the process of helping her father, having become the political and ideological successor of Sharif.

Maryam’s aggressiveness and bold stance has already created a lot of problems for the establishment. It was her persistence and stance that actually made Sharif travel from the GT road to Lahore after his disqualification. That travel actually laid the foundation for Sharif’s successful narrative against the invisible forces. How she will get out of the challenge posed by the invisible forces through the judiciary still remains the question however. But certainly this whole court proceedings and media trial are making her stature greater and invincible.

The court always speaks through its decisions not through the criticism and statements. The minus one and minus two formulas can only be applied in maths, they can never be used in politics as the political logic is quite different from maths. Hopefully the invisible forces and their partners soon realize this.

Sharif, unlike Imran Khan, is not heading a party backed by the establishment, his confidence in his voters and supporters, as well as his defiance, is evidence he has chosen his fate and is not afraid to be arrested or removed like Zulfikar Bhutto and Benazir. Do the invisible forces and their allies have the same mindset? Are they willing to put everything at stake to win this battle? The battles are always won by those who fight on their own and risk everything to win the war, those who bank on proxies to settle the score and personal enmities can never win big battles.

Sharif’s chances of winning this battle are high as he is fighting with yielding support from the masses, while Mr Khan and the invisible forces are fighting by using each other’s weapons and banking on the outcome of the court proceedings.

It is said that the winners are those who make things happen and the losers are those who wait for things to happen. So far now it is Sharif who is not waiting for things to happen, in fact he is successfully making the adversities and moves of his enemies work in his favor.

 

 

 

 

Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar is a journalist based in Lahore. He is a regular Columnist/Commentator in newspapers. He is associated with TV channels, radio, newspapers, news agencies, political, policies and media related think tanks.

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