Chitral Today
Latest Updates and Breaking News

PML-N power show at Minaar-e-Pakistan

Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan

The much-awaited return of Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan after having spent four long years abroad in self-imposed exile, remained the subject of an intense debate both among his followers and as well his opponents for quite some time. 

Col Ikram Ullah KhanThe ground was prepared for his return, thus giving an impression to the public that his return came as a consequence of a deal with the powers that be, although it may be a mere perception as it isn’t underpinned by any evidence, but at times, perception proves to be stronger than reality; even his protective bail by Islamabad High Court that got him off the hook and saved him from arrest which enabled him to address the public rally at Minar-e-Pakistan, is perceived by the public to have come as a result of that deal because this kind of concession, isn’t extended to an ordinary mortal. 

His conviction by the Supreme Court, his being declared as an absconder by Islamabad High Court after he failed to appear before the court despite repeated warrants issued, and now, the grant of protective bail by the same court two days before his return, reminds me of Hasrat Mohani’s famous couplet which says:

 خرد کا نام جنوں رکھ دیا، جنوں کا خرد

جو چاہے آپ کا حسنِ کرشمہ ساز کرے

The much-trumpeted public address of Nawaz Sharif delivered at the jalsa held at Minaar-e-Pakistan yesterday, divested of the belligerent narrative initially built by him while sitting in London and favored by the hawkish elements in his party that had created an inordinate euphoria among his frenzied followers, but was later on dropped when the saner elements in his party rightly sensed the blowback the party was going to face, and prevailed upon Nawaz Sharif to get off his high horse, put his feet on the ground, see reason, shed the combative tone and adopt a conciliatory posture if he wanted to survive politically.  

The venue of jalsa which was very cleverly selected by PML-N leadership and was expected to be beaming with audience, could only pull a modest crowd and the jalsa turned out to be an apology despite the fact that the famous crowd puller Maryam Nawaz was directly controlling/conducting the arrangements of the jalsa and also that Lahore has historically remained the bastion of PML-N. 

According to sources privy to the whole development, the atmosphere in Lahore remained quite indifferent as the level of enthusiasm witnessed during the rally was markedly absent from the general public. The majority of the audience, according to different sources, consisted of individuals brought by former parliamentarians of the party from Punjab who were assigned various targets. But despite the open field available for PML-N leaders and the full support of the provincial caretaker government, Lahorites largely remained indifferent to the rally, and the crowd was largely consisted of hired people.  

According to different intelligence sources, including the special branch (SB), Intelligence Bureau(IB) and sensitive state institution, the number of attendees that showed up at the rally, varied from seventy five thousand to a little more than one lakh as against the projected number of one million. Interestingly, a good number of participants of the rally, according to insiders, included paid attendees and employees of different departments.  

Before arriving at the venue of jalsa in a chopper, Nawaz Sharif took an aerial view of the Jalsa venue. According to sources, he was not happy with the number of audience and reportedly, expressed his dissatisfaction with the turn out. He expected the crowd to be ten times bigger than the available audience. 

As for his speech, the scripted speech laid out before him to help him read out, given the fact that he can’t utter a single sentence without consulting the script, was void of any imagination and vision charting out a course of action for the future and even sans a basic political narrative, and sounded as if he was presenting his CV before the audience. His tone was mild, his tenor was conciliatory, his choice of words was excessively guarded and he sounded extremely conscious of not offending those who matter.

He began his address by reading out a poignant Urdu couplet:

کہاں سے چھیڑوں فسانہ اور کہاں تمام کروں 

symbolizing his distressing political past, exile and imprisonment. Addressing the rally, he announced with a heavy heart that he had no intention of pursuing a politics of revenge and expressed his desire to follow the path of reconciliation and not lock horns with state institutions. He expressed his intention to utilize all his energy for bringing economic improvement. He urged all institutions to work hand in glove with each other. He refrained from targeting his political opponents and those about whom he has been bearing intense grudge and malevolence throughout. However, his facial expression was clearly suggestive of the fact that he was forced to swallow his ire and refrain from saying what he wanted to say. It all went against his will and natural disposition which is retaliatory in nature and deeply soaked in personal vendetta which, some time in the future, is likely to force him to revert back to his original position as nature can’t be changed. They say, “a leopard can’t change its spots”. 

Contrary to expectations that Nawaz Sharif’s address would primarily focus on an elaborate economic roadmap that would be pursued to steer the country out of the economic morass the country has sunk deep in, and forget about the past, he couldn’t resist touching on the Panama episode and lamented over the punishment handed down to him which he thought was unwarranted. 

The tragedy with our political leaders is that instead of taking the state institutions on board and benefiting from their experience and expertise, and utilizing their services for the development of the country, they consider them as their rivals and pick up gratuitous row with them and make an attempt to subdue and conquer them, thereby impelling them to react. It’s about time that our political leaders exhibited maturity and considered state institutions as their guard instead of taking them for a rival. Herein lies the betterment of the country.

You might also like
  1. Fardad Ali Shah says

    We are constantly going round and round in a ‘circle of no joy’. Unless we stop flogging this dead horse called ‘Pakistani democracy’, get out of the system and adopt an entirely different method of governance like ‘Meritocracy’, nothing much will change, no matter who comes and who goes.

  2. Mir Wazir Khan says

    A very cogent and comprehensive analysis of the prime minister brothers’ Minar-e-Pakistan jalsa. Nawaz was made to read out what was pragmatic and closer to realpolitik . There was no clear mention of the ways and steps that one of the largest political party and three- time prime minister will do to bring the country out of the current mess of sociopolitical and economic issues and such other fundamental institutional reforms that can change the fate of the country for the better. The only good and tangible suggestion he made was cultivating good neighbourly relations with all neighbours particularly with India. Except that the rest was a leitmotif of ordinary nature.

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected!!