The king is …? Dead.


Will the good folks please sing ‘long live the king’ now?



What will become of all this, only time will tell. PML-N has become a party without its chieftain, the internal rifts are very much there and currently Pakistan is without a prime minister






Justice has been denied to us, says a former minister who was sitting while she entered Courtroom Number 1 on Friday, 28 July 2017. Justice has triumphed, said the acolytes of Mr Khan. Both agree that the tunnel has ended after a journey that spans over 15 months.

The advent of “Panama leaks” in early April 2016 clouded the political ozone of Pakistan. These uncertain clouds shadowed Islamabad for more than a year. PTI, the ‘real’ opposition, started a countrywide campaign against the Sharif family. These protests forced the premier to address the nation and announce a judicial investigation. When his addresser failed to calm the justice seekers, he appeared again on TV to “ice the cake” by pledging to resign if ever proven guilty of crimes. Result? Our premier’s lollypop didn’t get a lick.

This time around, the premier was facing a 64-year old “Young Man”, who had a reputation of being a “fighter till the last-ball”. Like 2014, he attracted masses once again to march against corruption. Imran Khan theKaptaan mobilised his team for demands of resignation of Premier Nawaz. The Supreme Court of Pakistan accepted petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Jamat-i-Islami, Jamhoori Watan Party and others to start proceedings on Panama Case in an open court.

Meanwhile, PML-N started sensing the onslaught of younger leadership within the party. Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the heir apparent, had her own aggressive strategies to neutralise the external threats to the party. The party tried to hook itself to any popping opportunity available.

“Speed Thrills, But Kills”, as they say. They didn’t kill Lady M, but it surely cast an evil eye on her. She crashed and burned even before the very first flight.

And while the Panama case was slowly brewing, the King’s Party braved another storm i.e. Dawn Leaks, which was for PML-N a “bonus ditch” for an already trenched party. Though it saw a scuffle (which was blown utterly out of proportion) between government and the almighty institutions, yet the party got away with it. PTI came out again to protest on the streets not only on corruption but the acts of PML-N to destroy the institutions by their mala-fide campaigns.

The court took up the case in the aftermath, and an soon-to-be-outgoing chief justice took up the gauntlet to hold the King to account.

In November 2016, children of the premier submitted their replies to the Supreme Court which stated that Sharif’s sons have been living outside Pakistan for long and their father has no involvement in children’s businesses or properties. It added that Maryam was not the beneficiary owner of offshore companies Nielsen and Nescoll, but only a trustee. Moreover, submitted the Qatari letter that became a source of much ridicule, derision and laugh amongst the opposition party and masses at large.

From 4 January onwards, a new bench started hearing the case anew. And there were arguments, remarks, submissions, loads of records, pressers, verbal skirmishes between loyalists from both sides of the aisle.

In April 2017, Supreme Court announced a 3-2 split in favor of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and set up a JIT to investigate the money trail of the properties owned by the ruling family. This was the very time when sweet-vendors were overjoyed as both parties were their clients.

In May 2017, Supreme Court formed a six-member committee to investigate the money trail of flats owned by the ruling family in London. Soon it became famous as JIT.

On 10 July the JIT submitted a damning final report in the Supreme Court that shook the constitution avenue. It unearthed every little fact that was already giving nightmares to the Sharifs for months. Arguments on the same JIT’s findings started in the court that lasted for few days, and resulted in case verdict being reserved.

28th July, 2017: judgment day turned into doomsday

Came the day when shadowing clouds disappeared from the political sphere of Pakistan. Judges disqualified Sharif on 28 July 2017. The day Nawaz Sharif became “former premier” forever, the very day the dreams and hopes and aspirations of his political heiress – Maryam Nawaz Sharif – too dashed forever.

Former Premier Nawaz Sharif utilised every possible source or medium to secure him from the long awaited disqualification but all was in vain. A new team of relatively younger leaders of ruling party emerged under the fresh leadership of Maryam Nawaz Sharif. Danyal Aziz, Tallal Choudhry, Maryam Aurangzeb, Anushay Rehman and Dr Tariq Fazal Choudhry represented PML-N on media under the leadership of Maryam Nawaz. Importantly, senior leadership of PML-N had reservations on the constant representation of the junior leadership.

The Panama Case verdict has clearly divided PML-N into senior and junior leadership of the party. Chaudhry Nisar’s presser – only a day before the Panama verdict surfaced – is considered very important. He openly criticised the representation of PML-N in recent times. He further held the newer voices and faces in PML-N and her media cell responsible for the outcome of the Panama Case.

The heiress bought Dirty Eggs of Journalism!

The heiress wanted to revolutionise PML-N to compete against its competitors. PTI was well equipped with its volunteers as well as paid social, electronic and print media individuals. PML-N in its bit to counter its opponent introduced similar and spent strongly on strengthening its social media appearance and impact. This saw a huge control in the hands of the heiress.

Rumor has it, and like all rumours impossible to verify, that when JIT was investigating the Panama case, a particular media group carried on a campaign on the behest of the heiress. The JIT attracted criticism from government as soon as it started investigation on the case. A particular “cell” used different mediums to propagate against the JIT that included journalists of that very specific group – that claims to be TESCO of Pakistan media – it did follow the slogan of TESCO that says; “TESCO, every little helps!”

But, nothing could stop JIT…

On numerous occasions, PTI criticised the hoax reporting and false accusations of that group. Stories of the group got bounced several times and eventually the Supreme Court took notice and a case against the group is still going on. Similar is the case with the media cell of PML-N which is controlled by the heiress directly. PTI has always condemned the media cell saying that it is being funded on tax payer’s expense. Importantly, PML-N interior minister has his own reservations against such actions of the heiress.

What will become of all this, only time will tell. PML-N has become a party without its chieftain, the internal rifts are very much there and currently Pakistan is without a prime minister, the government is without a chief executive, ministries are without ministers, while the common man rejoices and dances and hopes that things will change for the better, the morning after the revolution.

Lawmen weigh in

“We as a nation regret our decisions,” says Advocate Badar Iqbal. “I wonder that five, ten years down the road when the euphoria and the ecstasy wither away, we’ll view this judgment with the same excitement,” he said while commenting on the judgment.

Iqbal was of the view that if the judgment has come from within, then it is a milestone for people of Pakistan. “However, if there is a hidden hand behind it, then it is another false dawn,” he said.

Muhammad Zaheer Butt, advocate – finance secretary of Lahore high court bar – talking to DNA called it a historic judgment by the Supreme Court.

Lahore Bar had already announced to accept whatever the decision would come in Panama Leaks case. Whosoever does not accept the decision would be committing a crime punishable by law. To us, Supreme Court decision is important and not the prime minister. When Supreme Court announced on 20 April to form a JIT, Lahore Bar clearly sent a message in a presser on 22 April that the premier should step down. That was the very time when we faced criticism from several bars as well as chairman of Pakistan Bar counsel, Ahsen Bhoon. Lahore Bar body does not belong to any political party; our only party is “Black Coat”. Our struggle is not against individuals, it is against the corrupt system and practices, he explained.


Co-Authored by Raja Faisal and Shah Nawaz Mohal