By Irum Saleem
PMLN Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s entire political struggle is being delegitimised as he is called the new ‘ladla’ of the military establishment.
“Nawaz has to realise that an unfair win will only leave him more vulnerable, while Mr Khan must get over his disregard for political opponents and start seeing them as equals,” Dawn writes.
It says Nawaz Sharif’s acknowledgement — that the PDM government’s decision to stay on was a response to ‘threats’ — has brought into sharp relief the genesis of Pakistan’s current political crisis.
“Before Mr Sharif confirmed it to be true, the rumour was that the PDM had been ready to pack up and call a general election soon after it ousted Imran Khan through a no-confidence vote. The situation demanded it: it had quickly become clear after the PTI’s ouster that the economy needed a strong and stable elected government to steer it out of the troubled waters it was in.”
However, something changed, and the PDM alliance ended up ruling for much longer than expected. It now seems evident that Mr Khan’s threat to march on Islamabad in May 2022 was what changed the PML-N’s mind.
Mr Khan’s ‘Azadi March’ had been planned to coincide with the PDM government’s announcement of elections, and it is clear Mr Khan wished to position himself to take credit for sending the PML-N-led government home.
However, the PML-N supreme leader sensed the ploy and was in no mood to give the PTI chief that satisfaction. He directed his younger brother to continue even though the latter had been “all set to resign and had prepared his farewell speech as well”.
“From Mr Sharif’s recent telling of the story, it is clear that the decision was ultimately an egotistical one — even though both Mr Sharif and his party have long insisted that they sacrificed political capital to save Pakistan from default. By Mr Sharif’s own admission, it was the ‘threat’, not concern for the economy, that had motivated the PML-N and its allies to stay on.”
Dawn castigated Nawaz saying this clash of egos has continued since then, even as the economy imploded, the democratic order was dismantled, the Constitution trampled on, and civil rights put to the sword. Despite repeated exhortations through these pages, no party has listened to reason.
“Well-meaning commentators kept pointing out that the failure to reach a political settlement was eroding Pakistani democracy from within. Both should be able to contest the next elections on equal terms, on the basis of what they can offer to the people. It is time to shut the door on the past.”
Nawaz must be thinking that he has reached the point where he had started off his politics under the wings of generals. He may repent for becoming an establishment man. PAK DESTINY