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Nawaz’s fire & fury

August 13, 2017

CREST-FALLEN and embittered, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif himself has resorted to the politics of containers -- something he objected to during PTI chief Imran Khan’s sit-in in Islamabad in the not-so-distant past.

On his way home from Islamabad, Mr Sharif spoke from behind a bullet-proof glass in his container to supporters in Jhelum. The burden of the deposed premier’s speech was his disqualification by the Supreme Court.

The Panama verdict is, to him, an insult to the entire nation that had catapulted him into power for a record third time. He claimed transforming Pakistan into a modern and economically stable country, a hub of investments.

Mr Sharif also touted his employment schemes, unprecedented energy initiatives and development at a good clip. He repeatedly sought assurances from the audience to help him restore respect for the public mandate.

Let me say he offered jobs, but only to his blue-eyed boys. As for electricity, rural Pakistan is yet to come out of darkness. In this scorching summer, almost all of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s villages have been without electricity for weeks on end. Development remains lopsided, driven by political expediency.

The Lion of Lahore did roar at the five judges who disqualified him with a single stroke of the pen, but did not give any money trail for his and his children’s blooming offshore businesses. To his mind, perjury is no offence.

If former dictator Pervez Musharraf was not brought to justice during his four-year rule, who is to blame? If he had tried Musharraf, Mr Sharif would have become an immortal statesman. Lamentably, however, he stuck to the politics of expediency and deals.

M. Afzal Khan

Peshawar

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017