While the ex-prime minister was travelling from his luxury apartments in Avenfield, England to the cell in Adyala, Pakistani public was mainly divided into two groups, fiercely attacking each other on the social media. One viewed Nawaz Sharif as a hero, who was returning his home country to face the judicial decisions, knowing what he had to face. This was an unprecedented move in the history of the country and his followers were exploiting the instance to bombard the opponents with harsh criticism. They were highly disappointed and skeptical with the peculiarity of the dynamics of the case, identifying it as “selective justice” and were claiming it to be political revenge rather than a sincere step towards freeing Pakistan of corruption. The other party was on the side of Imran Khan, who emerged as the prominent figure in the political arena in the absence of his rival. This group believed that Nawaz Sharif was the only culprit and the decision of the court was merely a bid to make the country corruption free, for which Imran Khan was right to be credited. The heat and hype of the war of narratives was so strong that an independent approach to and analysis of the situation seemed to be a rare thing. Not to mention the part played by some of the media pundits was also a party-oriented one and free thinking and unbiased analysis was a virtue, very rare.
The decision came at a time when all of the culprits except one, Captain Safdar, were outside of the country. This lead to spinning off of doubts about the actual outcomes of the decision, but in an unexpected and unprecedented move, Nawaz Sharif announced that he had decided to come to the country to face jail. While it was imperative to file an appeal against the decision, yet, majority believed, he could have enjoyed his wealth and money while staying outside in England or elsewhere like Altaf Hussain and others. The NAB could have easily be escaped from by spending just a little in seeking asylum or a safe haven in the vastness of the world. Yet they decided to return to the country and to face the judiciary, hoping to get a clean chit if not from the NAB, from the public and the supporters at least. Otherwise, they could not have prevented a complete wipe off from the political stage of the country. Maryam Nawaz, it seems, took the bold initiative, hoping to emerge from the prison, as another Benazir. The supporters took it at the face value as their leaders claimed and decided to welcome the “lion”, as they call him.
the support to and the decision of welcoming Nawaz was a move, immoral in its essence. The reason being they were convicted by the courts of the country and to welcome a convict is to sabotage the court’s repute
Some party leaders escalated the tension by bombarding emotionally provoking statements towards the opponents. They were ridiculing Imran Khan, and other opponents like Pervaiz Musharraf on behalf of the “bold” decision taken by Nawaz. They extensively used extremely vulgar language and pejorative terms as “khalai makhluq” (literally meaning ‘alien’) to point towards powers like the military establishment and security agencies, considering them all to be against Nawaz due to political and personal reasons. They insisted that Nawaz & family were convicted only because they did not fit well into their standards, and considered them utterly innocent in their owning of the luxury apartments and appearing in the Panama leaks. Ultimately, they decided to offer a “warm” and “historic” welcome at the Lahore airport, chosen by Nawaz Shairf himself to land at. The government deemed it imperative to halt any such gathering so that the decision of the court could be implemented, resulting in blocking important passages and mobile phone signals which resulted into further strengthening of the enthusiasm of the supporters. This is, however, a surprise that Shehbaz Sharif changed his mind of going to the airport to welcome his brother. Anyhow, the particular part of arresting Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz took place with peace and the credit goes to the caretaker government and also to Shehbaz Sharif, who decided to be content with a power show rather than violating the situation of law and order.
To me, however, the support to and the decision of welcoming Nawaz was a move, immoral in its essence. The reason being they were convicted by the courts of the country and to welcome a convict is to sabotage the court’s repute. Regardless of everything, as usual, Pakistani public chose to look at someone who offers resistance, as a hero. This is the state of mind when people stop thinking with their own mind and start doing it from the mind of and the mindset given by their leaders.
The extremity of biasness was so immense that it transcended the barriers of education and exposure. Some peers of high educational careers were also prey to one or the other of the blazing narratives and the severity of the language used by them was startling
On the other hand the followers of Imran Khan were celebrating victory, considering that the court’s decision was all because of their leader’s efforts alone. They were praising IK for the courage and the determination that he professed in the long way of bringing Nawaz down to the ultimate outcomes of his deeds. For them, Nawaz & family were the only culprits and it was the only thing necessary to free Pakistan of corruption. They started dreaming of IK sitting on the chair of the Prime Minister, which, to them, is the ultimate dream. May be, they would think, streams of milk and honey start running right after that.
The fierceness of the debate was so harsh that people were breaking off long-held bonds of friendships and trust among them. The extremity of biasness was so immense that it transcended the barriers of education and exposure. Some peers of high educational careers were also prey to one or the other of the blazing narratives and the severity of the language used by them was startling. They must have forgotten that the elections are a game of a few days and right after that all the worth they have right now, is going to be forgotten for a period of five years. They will be having no other option than to live in harmony with one another, they must remember that.
Similarly, the derogatory remarks in favor of the armed forces and military establishment were also an act of negligence of the safety and security of their own selves. Yes, the powerful pundits in those circles should be subject to constructive criticism but the limits must never be transgressed. This will eventually cost the integrity and solidarity of the state.
the sovereignty of the country is at stake, rendering the state a servant of international monetary organizations like IMF and the World Bank. To me, this is the worst crime committed by Nawaz
Now, coming to why Nawaz and why Nawaz only, aren’t there other culprits around? Yes there are but why not Nawaz, why not Nawaz first? He was the prime minister and the responsibility was upon his shoulders to bring the culprits to accountability. One of the points of the supporters showed the extremity of ignorance and short sightedness on their part. The construction projects of the stunning buildings, roads and the like were presented as achievements of the PMLN government. They probably don’t know where the funds came from and what impact is that going to make in future. The worth of the debt has increased in an exponential manner, resulting in a situation where the fiscal deficit is growing day by day, rupee is suffering devaluation and the life of the ordinary public and the poor majority has become miserable. Not to mention, the sovereignty of the country is at stake, rendering the state a servant of international monetary organizations like IMF and the World Bank. To me, this is the worst crime committed by Nawaz, which has undoubtedly benefitted Nawaz himself in his business. People are quite unable to understand the severity of the issue, nor do they profess the ability to analyze the need and affordability of the standards that are used in the construction of projects like that of Metro Bus. The stations of the MBS look like one in Paris but whether or not the actual affordability of the nation is like that of France is the question. Some of such expensive and costly projects are costing billions of rupees per month just to keep them running. Prime example is that of the MBS in Multan, seeing it not giving desired results, it was further supported with an incredibly huge number of feeder buses which can be seen after every second minute moving here and there with a driver, a conductor and a passenger. With all the mega construction projects, much more money has been spent than what can be justified. The Islamabad metro bus stations are examples of plundering a windfall. Not to mention, the new phase which is under construction, seems to be an act of revenge against the nation. Every station is being constructed so huge that every one of them looks like a monument of a selfish king of a wealthy nation.
Similarly, his crimes include the pejorative language that he used in ridiculing the establishment to the extent that it clearly undermined the security and the dignity of the state. While he was ousted and living in London, he spoke out exactly what Modi and his establishment was trying to prove without a substantiating proof. This was an extremely dangerous and utterly immoral step to be taken by someone as important as an ex-prime minister. This doubled with his rhetoric of “mujhy kiu nikala” compelled many sympathetic minds to turn against him. It seemed that he was trying to catch the attention of the Western powers by uttering words that were in line with what they were desperate to prove the validity of their claims. He may possibly have tried to gain a place in the eyes of the West as enjoys Altaf Hussain.
Our national thinking pattern has become such that if you point towards a problem to explain your point, what they would immediately do is to point fingers towards others who are supposedly doing the same or somewhat similar crimes. This is a very serious dilemma because a wrong act remains wrong no matter whomever else is doing it and how often is it being repeated
Another major blunder that he committed was one relating to the illicit attempt of amending the constitution without letting the public know about it. At this point, a supporter may point out towards Khadim Husain Rizvi to invalidate my point, yet, regardless of the dynamics of the reactionaries and their politics, the attempt was itself a monument of dishonesty and deceit. Our national thinking pattern has become such that if you point towards a problem to explain your point, what they would immediately do is to point fingers towards others who are supposedly doing the same or somewhat similar crimes. This is a very serious dilemma because a wrong act remains wrong no matter whomever else is doing it and how often is it being repeated. We should be objective in our criticisms towards and debates on national political figures, issues and instances.
While Nawazes now spend a memorial time in Adyala jail, Maryam probably reading a lot on resistance politics as a part of her self-education and preparation to become a politician of national stature, resulting, may be but with less hope, in soothing the rhetoric of the emerging feminists, we, as a nation, must think that corruption is the most dangerous poison to the nation. Many other leaders of political sphere are yet to be subjected to accountability. Also, the deep-rooted elements of corruption are to be uprooted from the general public ranging from a fruit-seller and a bus driver to the highest offices in the country. We have to be objective and impartial in our approach to the corrupt elements of our political sphere and other corridors of power. We must not alienate any of the crucial pillars of national security and integrity by being washed away by the euphoria of a rhetorical debate. We must not sympathize with any of the corruption kings neither based on points like not having “clearly proved evidences” nor for the point that other people of similar character are walking around freely. Lack of clear evidences is merely because the culprits are shrewd enough to conceal their wrongdoings coupled with the weaknesses in the judicial system that we are obliged to follow as a legacy of the British colonial era. Regarding the other culprits walking around free, we should raise our voice for their trial and execution like that of Nawaz and not the other way around. We must hope for the best and must not let loose our faith.