The journey on GT Road which Nawaz Sharif embarks upon is not just an ordinary way to his abode at Jati Umra after his disqualification as prime minister of Pakistan rather this march may be his last effort to find a safe passage from the accountability references filed against him and his children, especially her supposedly political heir Maryam Nawaz.
But it was not just disqualification that irked Nawaz Sharif rather he was more concerned about the references which Supreme Court had ordered to open in the NAB against him, his children and Ishaq Dar. In first verdict of Supreme Court in Panama case on April 20, 2017, two judges had declared Nawaz Sharif disqualified while other three judges of the bench had opted for a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to further investigate the matter.
Pakistan Muslim League-N had welcomed the decision rather it was termed as a victory of the party as they thought that ‘godfather’ could ‘mould’ the JIT in their favour and the Panama Case would go into ‘trash’.
But the situation turned otherwise as the JIT investigations brought out the information that provided the Apex Court basis to disqualify Nawaz Sharif but also the opening of criminal cases against him and his family in accountability courts. The references included against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz Sharif, and Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar relating to the Avenfield properties in London.
Reference against Nawaz Sharif, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz regarding Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment, along with other companies mentioned in paragraph 9 of the detailed judgment.
Reference against Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his known means of income and supplementary reference(s) if and when any other asset, which is not prima facie reasonably accounted for, is discovered.
Reference against Nawaz Sharif, and Hussain and Hassan Nawaz regarding Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment, along with other companies mentioned in paragraph 9 of the detailed judgment.
Much to the amazement of Nawaz Sharif, no one came out to protest against his disqualification, giving him a clear signal that he was not the leader who belonged to the masses. This was another blow to the former premier, who so far was living in the paradise of fools.
Now trapped in blind alley, Nawaz and his cronies decided to make a long march from Islamabad to Lahore in order to build pressure on the institutions to stop the references against Nawaz and his children. Nawaz Sharif has utilised all government machinery to bring his supporters on the roads.
Abashing situation Nawaz faced as he is not speaking against any clear opponent rather repeating his mantra that he has been ousted three times though he was democratically elected. His stance against Supreme Court is that he was disqualified on petty basis that he had not declared his ‘receivable’ salary from his son’s company.
Nawaz Sharif is also talking about a ‘grand national dialogue’ but the question remains what this dialogue is all about, about Nawaz Sharif or the democracy because PML-N still enjoys its government in the Centre and Punjab and a new prime minister has also been elected.
In fact this is the situation that actually irks Nawaz that he is helpless despite all the power. The situation could have been different if his government had been overthrown and only then he could blame the ‘establishment’ and other conspirators.
This is a Do or Die moment for Nawaz Sharif, and he will try his best to extend his march on Grand Trunk (GT) Road in order to find any safe passage for him and his family.
Time will test the nerves for Nawaz Sharif that how long he could keep the momentum of his movement because Nawaz has failed to come up with any clear narrative to convince the people whose support he desperately begs for.