He may have been ousted, but Nawaz Sharif remains the most popular leader in Pakistan
They say, ‘gone and forgotten’, but here, in the sense and for whom we are about to talk, this stands true partially: ‘gone but not forgotten.’ Nawaz may have been ousted from the political scene and barred from taking part in any kind of political matter, ranging from participating in elections to holding chair of party leadership, but he still is the most popular leader in Pakistan. You can deny it for your own convenience, but even while carrying that impression you know it in the heart that he still enjoys the support of voters.
The ouster was swift, no clashes, no prolonged hue and cry. The day after he was sent packing by the top court, he not only accepted the verdict, but also vacated the official residence. The next few days witnessed some rallies by the party workers, here and there, which were not intimidating, a few slogans and then pack up. In all this, the military didn’t issue any kind of statement, showing zero participation in the ongoing political process.
At this point, where a very convincing threat against the democratic process – to which our country has acquainted itself– was imminent, the PML-N handled everything amicably by announcing a new Prime Minister to take on from here.
PTI rejoiced at this decision and is considering it a vital win against their rivals. Everything seemed calm after that, a silence for a few days, but who knew it would be the one that comes before a storm.
PML-N leaders, after the fall of their founder leader and Prime Minster, started calling for justice for the PTI too: Imran Khan’s hidden properties in United Kingdom and concealment of other assets by the top leaders of PTI.
As the time passed, the PML-N started realizing that they can’t give up like this, if they seriously want to have a chance in next general elections. They can’t keep mum and let other political parties extract advantage of that, especially the PTI. This fact admonished their hibernation, and they sprang into action. This is pivotal for them to stay at least as strong till next elections, so that they’ll be able to secure enough seats elsewhere, which qualifies to register them in the list of national parties.
The PML-N leadership chalked out a rally which was supposed to begin from Islamabad and end in their hometown Lahore, going all the way via Motorway M2 – a necessary show of power and popularity at this time. Later the date and route was changed, now via Grand Trunk Road on Wednesday. This rally will not be an ordinary or for granted rally, it will mark many things. First of all, that one person’s ouster cannot assure ouster of the whole party – the voter, the real guardian of democracy, still believes and trusts PML-N. Secondly, and most importantly, to make PTI think again about the success they are going berserk over. If this rally succeeds then the blow which many believe PML-N has suffered, will lose all its energy, the PML-N voter who at this point is a bit confused will once again repose his trust in the party.
Now another main event which is going to happen in this arena is the rally planned by Tahir UlQadri. He will lead it and it seems he will be able to attract quite a crowd. He wants justice for Model Town killings for which he thinks PML-N is responsible. His chances of executing a successful rally are bleak as the power, both in federal and province, rests with PML-N and all the machinery is at their disposal.
Among all these crises, the most important role will be played by PPP in days to come. They have a huge following and have a reasonable face in Parliament too. Apparently they are on better terms with PML-N and if they nod to the request of forming a coalition, the success is already written for PML-N.
The political arena once again is about to witness a duel, bloodier and more damaging. But for whom? That we have to see!