Due to the illness of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been in London for the last few days and the main office of PML-N seems to have shifted to London as well. Nawaz Sharif called the party leadership to London to make important decisions on the court cases, party leadership and current matters of the country.
It is not uncommon for politicians to make decisions from outside Pakistan. Before the Sharif family, Benazir Bhutto and many other Pakistani politicians have taken decisions from outside of Pakistan.
Pakistani politicians have had talks on matters of the state either in London or in the Emirates. If we talk about Benazir Bhutto, the chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party spent nine years in self-exile in Dubai after losing in the 1997 general elections. Asif Zardari, her husband, supervised party matters alongside Benazir Bhutto from Dubai after he was released from prison in 2004.
After the coup in 1999, PML-N chairman Nawaz Sharif and his family were exiled from Pakistan following an agreement. After spending several years in Sarwar Palace in Saudi Arabia, the Sharif family moved to London.
In 2006, the Charter of Democracy (CoD) was approved and signed by Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan People’s Party in London. The document, signaling an alliance between two significant political parties of Pakistan, outlined steps to end the military rule established by the 1999 martial law led by General Pervez Musharraf, and subsequently restore civilian democratic rule. Through this Charter of Democracy, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto were able to smooth their way back to Pakistan.
Former President Musharraf, after stepping down from the presidency, lived in exile in London and Dubai. He came back to Pakistan in 2013 and faced many court cases under the regime of Nawaz Sharif. While facing the cases he suffered from severe pain in his back and then went abroad to get treatment for his condition after securing permission of the interior ministry. He has settled abroad since 2016.
MQM London president, Altaf Hussain also supervised his party matters in Pakistan from London for decades.
In Pakistani politics, many other political parties take many important decisions from London.
If we talk about Nawaz Sharif, many people thought that he was not going to return to the country to face court cases and would run the government from London. However, it was not easy to run the government by sitting in London.
I thought that after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he would have decided to refrain from politics. But if Nawaz Sharif would have agreed to get settled in London, there would have been no need to have Begum Kalsoom Nawaz run for the seat of NA-120, which became vacant after his disqualification by the Supreme Court.
Every politician in the world, no matter how corrupt they are, thinks of their legacy in the last stages of their careers.
Nawaz Sharif cannot tolerate the title of “Godfather” after being elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the third time, especially when his brother, sons and daughter might be incarcerated after being titled as “Sicilian Mafia”
Nawaz Sharif is now the patriarch of the entire Sharif family, and the protection of his family’s honour is his utmost responsibility and priority.
Nawaz Sharif is ready to fulfill his responsibility which is why he came back to Pakistan from London. But if he did not want to return to Pakistan, it would have been quite difficult to make him come back to Pakistan, just as it was in the case of Altaf Hussain and others. This is because Pakistan has no bilateral treaty with the UK due to which both countries have no obligation to give wanted people to each other.