Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification :A Judicial Odyssey

By Ritzy Nadeem 10/08/2017

Nawaz Sharif,ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan was dismissed , after the Pakistan Supreme court found him guilty over a string of corruption charges.While the decision has been welcomed by a majority of general public and opposition as a victory for the country where law and judiciary has been quite unstable, many democracy activists were quick to allege it as a ‘soft coup by the judiciary.This claim doesn’t come as a surprise considering the 70 years of history of this country never saw any civilian prime minister complete its tenure.Nawaz Sharif himself was sacked by president Gulam Ishaq Khan on Corruption Allegations during his 1st term in 1993.He was again dismissed by the then Chief of Army Staff Gen Pervaiz Musharaf when he tried to have him arrested while the army chief was en route to Karachi. 

Pakistan has lived under the shadow of military coup for the better half of it’s creation. So its perceivable to some extent why activists would compare Nawaz’s sacking to the country’s historical tradition of sacking prime ministers through establishment or military.This coup d'etat as they have are calling it ,is a puppet show, whose strings are being pulled by some one else. 

What I fail to understand is how unrepentantly Dragging military or establishment in a judicial procedure , solely on the basis of past subversions , is going to help this country’s democratic cause?let history be the judge of that.Such allegations not only weaken the balance of power between institutions but cause rifle between a country’s institutions. 

Secondly as stated before, this was exclusively a judicial verdict where the convicted was found at fault on the basis of panama papers ; somethings not stirred by the military or establishment.It was only a matter of time that he had to resign ; the corruption cases against him were ineluctable.   

In the past PML(N)has leveled serious allegations against the army one such allegation came when the opposition leader Imran khan protested and rallied his supporters in Islamabad ,demanding investigation into electoral fraud.Many minister’s from Nawaz league alleged the army as the helping hand behind the protests.Despite governments grave accusations against army , the latter abstained from any kind of involvement in politics and stood by democracy.Only if Nawaz Sharif has good council at his disposal he could have strength ed his ties with military, as a reparation to his past fall out with the army.It’s too late for that now. 

Another side to this panama episode which has not had it’s due appreciation in media and tabloids , is the political awakening of the people.People have found their lost hope in judiciary and military once again.They are now more aware of political happenings around them,not that they were not so already as the emergence of the cricketer turned politician,Imran Khan did his part by enlightening the masses,especially the educated middle class which was in a kind of political dormancy. 

Lastly ,while on their democracy bandwagon , many activists have failed to realize that even though the Democratic process has yet been disrupted again without the prime minister completing his term , democratic values that uphold the democratic process, on the other hand, have survived.As noted by international media ,upholding this judicial law in a country where judiciary lacks competency and has often failed to reassure pubic interest , is a step forward to a credible judicial system which will hold everyone accountable. 

For the new governments to come this verdict is a clear message that no one is above the law and and will hopefully ensure strong  and independent institutions in the times to come.


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