By Irum Saleem
Self-exiled PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif is finally returning to Pakistan on October 21 from London where he had a great four years.
It seems deal is sealed and on return he will not face any consequences in terms of the cases he is convicted of.
It seems he also has got some assurance from the top that will secure relief for him in the legal battle he is facing.
Another main issue has also been settled that Nawaz will be the PM candidate and Shehbaz will be back on old salary of chief ministership, if the powerful circles allow, otherwise Tareen group is favorite to grab the CM office in Punjab.
Elder Sharif is coming here when the economy is in a historic mess and businesses are rapidly losing confidence. Households cannot pay their electricity and food bills.
The government is not generating enough revenue to address any of these serious challenges, and there are no quick fixes to the country’s woes. Terrorism, too, is on the rise. The state of human rights in the country is dire. And political space is as narrow as ever but Sharif it isn’t.
How will he explain the last 16 months of the PML-N-led PDM government’s performance? How does he plan to counter the enormous support base of the incarcerated Imran Khan, who remains popular despite being pushed out of politics? Importantly, how will Mr Sharif proceed legally against the court cases against him?
The return of the elder Sharif has often been linked to the timing of general elections in the country by members of his party. Now that he is returning, he must call for timely elections — and then face the decisions of a public that is angry and crushed by multiple economic burdens.
PML-N is afraid of elections because of how much political capital it had lost during Mr Sharif’s’ prolonged absence, and later because of the PDM’s inability to give relief to the public.
Though Mr Sharif’s key rival Imran Khan has been removed from the political battlefield for now perhaps on his and his party wish…the matter of the PML-N’s bruised support remains. How he will galvanise his party, and persuade voters remains to be seen, but his party seems to think the ‘Nawaz Sharif effect’ itself will yield some positive results.
When he returns, Mr Sharif will not only have to explain why he left and stayed away from the country for four years, but also what his party plans to do to address the serious internal challenges the country is facing.
But on the face of all elder Sharif is happy to return to Pakistan and mighty happy to return to power….how interested it is? PAK DESTINY