Of laptops, marriages and Nawaz Sharif

Published: February 2, 2012

Prison is not a cup-of-tea for those who are used to of living in palaces, mansions and estates (Raiwind). PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVED

For sometime now, I am really concerned about the recent claims by Nawaz Sharif that only his political party can save the country and solve all political, internal and security crisis. He also stated that 20 precious years of both his life and the country’s progress have been wasted by external and internal enemies and had he remained in power, he would have made Pakistan an Asian Tiger.

Apparently, truth is more powerful than falsehood and often time becomes a catalyst to prove it. I am talking about a man whose choices (of both words and decisions) have proven to be detrimental to his own political progress and created a lot of problems for his party’s followers and leaders.

The decision to choose self-exile (to a holy land where tyrants and leaders hated by their nations find refuge) over prison still haunts him like Freddy Krueger. His competitor chose otherwise and became a winner (president). But then prison is not a cup-of-tea for those who are used to of living in palaces, mansions and estates (Raiwind).

So he preferred Sarwar Palace in uptown Jeddah, the hosting of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family, a fleet of four Mercedes Benz cars and partnership offers to start businesses in the kingdom that resulted in a private Steel Mill, a chain of huge departmental stores and a shopping mall. But he made a mistake.

For all the above, he signed a document that bound him against pursuing politics in Pakistan and coming back to the country for 10 years. There came another mistake. He did not keep his part of the promise, and came back to Pakistan in eight. The Arab friends were displeased and sent their intelligence chief who waved the contract in front of the media and later released it unofficially. Explanations were offered but it was too late. He was proven to be a man who does not keep his word to the best of his friends who help him in the most difficult times.

Getting tired from his ‘dictator’ rhetoric, a smart enemy uploaded a video on the internet from a very old rally where he referred to the late General Ziaul Haq as his mohsin (well-wisher), and adding ‘Rehmatullah allay’ after the dictator’s name.  Before it was realised, the damage was done. Regrets were offered immediately, to no use.

It was painful when one of the key senior leaders from his party, a baghi, stood one day on the National Assembly floor and said that he must apologise to the nation for going in self exile to avoid prison. But unlike other times when statements are passed first and denials are offered later, this leader remained unshaken and defiantly stood by it. It came within the party ranks this time. Unfortunately, there was simply no end to his misery. There was too much dirty laundry to hide and with the media revolution in our country, life became difficult.

It was the nephew who recently created headline news. A woman came forward claiming that she is the wife of his nephew who is the political heir apparent. She just wanted to be legally recognised as the wife. A media circus followed. The political opponents practically adopted her and vowed to fight until she gets justice.

First, complete denial and dirty allegations were sent her way by the political brethren. Then, she was arrested, detained and abused by the police. And when it was about to spin out of control, I don’t know why, both the woman and the nephew completely disappeared from the scene. Apparently, this is a time when politics is boiling hot and every Tom, Dick and Harry are making live television space. But the nephew is missing. I fail to understand.

Why the gentleman’s disappearance from his beloved country is coincidental when dengue engulfs the whole of Punjab, on the final hearing day of Raymond Davis’ case, when Mansoor Ijaz refuses to come to Pakistan to give his testimony in the Memo Case, when scores die in Punjab due to substandard medicines, I don’t understand.

I am appalled at the leader of Pakistan’s second biggest political party, a two-term prime minister, an educated, experienced and travelled person who thinks distributing laptops to college and university students on the expense of people’s tax money will bring an education revolution in the country.

I am shocked that he thinks he and his party will be the harbingers of democracy in our country when four of the top 10 posts in his party belong to his family and his younger brother will likely remain number two eternally.

I don’t have any expectations from a party that struggles for democracy but is titled after the first name of its leader.

Arif Ahmed

Arif Ahmed

A corporate communications professional and co-founder of a Karachi based NGO.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.facebook.com/a2zStuff Xurmat

    General Zia was a greatest leader of Pakistan…Recommend

  • Wahab

    Even still they claim to be the champians of democracy.!! Do they know the meaning of self respect or any thing like that?Recommend

  • Wajiha Mohsin

    Nawaz is a name of failure ,he is afraid of future and for sure of Imran khan’s Tsunami.Recommend

  • M.Ijaz

    Writer seems to be a part of PTI yellow journalism Recommend

  • Mastuj

    Perfectly put.Recommend

  • http://Stockholm Malik

    I don’t have any expectations from a party that struggles for democracy but is titled after the first name of its leader.

    Thank you for ending with this sentence. It proves this guy’s self obsession, and also the mental level of the so called “flag bearers of democracy” in PML(N), who blindly follow his personal agenda, and are still sticking to him.

    The only way to show these people their worth is through voting them out of their offices in the next elections. Recommend

  • Farhan

    Zia was mother of all evils in Pakistan. jihadis production, afghans in Pakistan, nawaz sharif, sipah sahaba and all evils. todays Pakistan is Zia,s dream and not Jinnahs visionRecommend

  • Danish Butt

    Sooooooo true!!! A party which fools people coz of democracy doesn’t even have democracy within itself. Shame!!!Recommend

  • Eying Propaganda

    Brilliant ! time to wake up folksRecommend

  • Umair Asghar

    time chages.. ppl change.. situations change. that was good shedding of light on the history but just the part u like.
    -Leaving for Saudia Arab wasnt for mercedez but Life. if today he is here thats cuz he is Alive! Even BB left the country n she wasnt jailed b4 that.
    -Woman claiming to be wife of Hamza Shahbaz: yes, i wish the situation got cleared. but one should not make dirty allegations without proof.
    -Establishment brought Nawaz…he supported Zia. Yes he did. History can not be changed but Us. He is the same man who is now most anti-establishment and vice versa. i think he has learnet from history.
    If today army is not coming/interveing Nawaz Sharif has a MAJOR role in it. Tomorrow when things will get better under democracy Media n History will praise nawaz’s role for that.Recommend

  • ali

    i don’t understand why everyone is just pointing out that one did this nd one did that why cant we appreciate one for what he/she has at-least for the country same is the question for u hav u done something for the instead of criticizing we are the people who elect them we give them votes then why you criticize when u you don’t know them personally.if u think they r not capable u should come out. instead of criticizing at-least one should see inside what we are and what we think.i m not supporter of pml pti or ppp but i m fed up of u media people by daily creating buzz and doing publicity stunts to get popular and etc etc for God sake guys show some maturity and respect.Recommend

  • Sherghazi

    Dear Arif Mehmood Seb@ I am still trying to understand that what you want to show and delivered through this article. If you are real writer then write some thing about present in uniform general. We all know that these dictators damaged the image of Pakistan infront of international institutions due to there lake of vision towards development. What you think general Kiyani is honest person ? If yes then in which means? Even our present army wearing the uniform of USA funded. But during Zia tenure we were not beggers.So i hope and i think so you can write some thing on new things. Recommend

  • 1sikander.ali@gmail.com

    Poorly written, the article does not do justice to the great Injustice that has been done to the country through the presumably lesser evil than PPP i.e the Nawaz Shareef. You forgot money laundering, bad governance, yellow cab, sasti rooti, qarz utaro mulk sanwaro and other financial and governmental fiascos. Recommend

  • Ali

    Thought provoking article, well done sir for such a great write up.Recommend

  • Bee

    Does anybody remember his “Qarz utaro, Mulk Sanwaro” Scheme, he launched during his last reign? where did that money go?Recommend

  • http://google asma ali

    very well written and first they should solve problems of punjab everyday new crises take place in punjab then they think for doing ruling in centre. nawaz shareef came two times as prime ministers what he did nothing just looting. Recommend

  • Kashif Iqbal

    Waste of time. Clearly shows that writer has biased tendency towards Nawaz Sharif and family. I expect people to write unbiased constructive criticism; unfortunately the writer has failed to write constructive material. Recommend

  • Asif

    well written.This poor man has both sides of pictures same.Recommend

  • YASIR TARIQ

    Their is a alot oe difference between sir Zia ul haq(late) and parvaz musharaf. Difference in the polices, difference in character, difference in behaviour difference in mind thinking, sir ZIA UL HAQ (late) was a nice person, He is a true muslim and true patriotic Pakistani and ha serve alot 4 Pakistan and 4 the Islam , If we are searching a man like sir ZIA UL HAQ(late) in the history of Pakistan and in the list of Pakistan peresident we can not found such a nice ,islam loving and and true pakistani,Recommend

  • Amjad

    It’s easy to put a twist or spin on things but the fact remains that no one begrudges Nawaz Sharif for anything he was forced to sign when a general illegally took over power in a military coup and shamed the whole nation. Whatever development we now see in Pakistan was largely started during his rule- take a look at the Motorways for example. I for one feel that Pakistan would have developed enormously had Musharraf not taken over in a military rule and made the nation lose 9 years. The present government is also a gift of the last military coup.Recommend

  • Amir Ali

    His competitor became a winner, and NS couldnt go to jail because he was used to living in palaces–does that mean his competitor lives in a shelter, if i hope you are talking about Zardari here, last i heard he is the richest man in Pakistan….dont bring mian mansha here you guys know the truth… and i am glad he didnt stay back in the jail to be executed because that way there would ve been no one to put some sort of pressure on the military establishment. NS was brought into power 30 years ago by military is wrong, but the same establishment supporting Imran Khan now and Zardari until last year is right…makes senseRecommend

  • Ali

    When he left the country foreign reserves were zero. We begged Kuwait to payour loans that came due. No one cried when he left because we were in a pitiful state.
    Perhaps another 4 years of democracy with Zardari has left us in even worse state.

    HOWEVER I am sure that if he had had another 4 years in power we would have been in an even worse state.

    Did he raise literacy/education levels, health standards? He contributed to the building of one dam (and I am not sure he can take all the credit for that, I am still researching that one) and 1 motorway. How many motorways did the dictator build? How much did he spend on education. Were the people better off under Musharraf or Sharif?
    I heard one of supporters taking benefit for fibre optical communication. Bialawal Bhutto in his op ed piece claimed that Benazir bought about the mobile phone revolution. The fact that these technologies have spread to the poorest of nations seems not take any wind out of the sails of these brainless supporters.

    Next thing he’ll be claiming that he would have colonized the moon if hadn’t have been ousted from power!!!Recommend

  • Muhammad Hanif Awan

    What an article! Read it again n again, n ENJOY///////////Recommend

  • leila rage

    @Yasir Tariq:

    My friend, I’m sorry to say but you are extremely mistaken in thinking so highly of General Zia ul Haq. Your claim that he was a “true Muslim” and good for Pakistan, is a sad and somewhat twisted delusion.

    General Zia was merely trying to get support from extremist elements and so he pretended to uphold and implement Islamic principles, whereas in reality he mutilated true Islamic values and ensured barbarism towards women.

    He is responsible for the miserable condition of the countless mothers, daughters and sister and wives in Pakistan who are killed, raped, and abused in the name of honour and Islam thanks to Zia’s man-made hudood ordinance which targets only women. Have you ever wondered why the bloody ordinance doesnt say a damn thing about the “hudood” of men? His laws now ensure that rapists and paedophiles roam securely and women are too scared to register cases against them. Is THIS Islam, in your opinion?

    Zia was the worst ruler of Pakistan. I am surprised his family still has the gall to show their faces in Pakistan. they should be exiled for all the problems he brought upon his nation.Recommend

  • Raza

    Brilliant article. Perfectly described. Nawaz Sharif = hypocrisy + failure + greedRecommend

  • Parvez

    Very well said. The Shareef brother’s credibility is almost zero and as you rightly say its mainly due to their own doings.Recommend

  • youth lahore

    we r against of nisaar leagueRecommend

  • huma

    @Bee:
    I know all the money is store in Raiwind Palace and Model Town … luxury life style Recommend

  • Hamza

    ‘I don’t have any expectations from a party that struggles for democracy but is titled after the first name of its leader.’

    Mostly either the article is plain-stupid or ends up being an exhibition of the writer’s knowledge.

    But this one is both simple and relevant!Recommend

  • usman

    i think the biggest problem has been the discontnuity of democracy in pakistan. not only PML(n) but u will find similiar stories in other parties too. the only solution is continuity of democracy which will itself correct lots of discrepancies overtime.Recommend

  • http://www.smartphones.pk http://www.smartphones.pk

    This is great article and definitely whenever their is some serious development sharifs either hide or go to london palace to get away from the media like in davis issue Recommend

  • SaQiB

    Although am no supporter of PML-N and I agree with most of the contents of this article, i must also admit that politically-driven motifs behind this article are quite evident……Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed

    I agree with the writer, Nawaz Sharif is someone who has fought with 3 COAS, 2 Presidents & 1 CJP. This man cannot work with anyone!

    He wants total power “Ameer-ul-Momeneen Bill” in 99, does he sound like a democrat? Punjab is bankrupt due to sati roti, tractor scheme, the lap top drama, free medicine & what not, on top of all this he claims of bad governance. I agree there is total mis-management in whole of Pakistan & Punjab is no exception.

    Both these brothers want to run a one man show & then they have the nerve to say that the previous government was a 1 man show. Can he explain his brother holding say about the double figure ministries in Punjab, isn’t that a 1 man show.

    He is the biggest hypocrite & the most self centered man in the country, he is the product of the most darkest part (Zia’s regime) of Pakistan’s history & yes Pakistan is in this situation because of the wrong policies of Zia & whoever says that Zia was a great leader, then he must be really a ignorant man.Recommend

  • http://707monty.blogspot.com Zareen

    Runaway PoliticianRecommend

  • Humanity

    @Xurmat wrote “General Zia was a greatest leader of Pakistan…”

    The self proclaimed ameer ul momeneen was none other than the Butcher of 25,000 Palestinians ..

    “During Black September the head of Pakistani training commission took command of the 2nd Division and helped kill and cleanse the Palestinians (est. 25,000 dead) from Jordan.

    It was none other that Zia ul Haq.

    So much for the Palestinian cause.

    The butcher was awarded Jordan’s highest honour for the services rendered.

    Zia was stationed in Jordan from 1967 to 1970 as a Brigadier, helping in the training of Jordanian soldiers, as well as leading the training mission into battle during the Black September operations as commander of Jordanian 2nd Division, a strategy that proved crucial to King Hussein’s remaining in power.”
    RE: http://criticalppp.com/archives/673Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    Atleast he tries to win election on his performance not cashing on ethnicity or some graveyard. btw what is wrong with the free laptops? If public university students who mostly are from middle class backgrounds get them surely it will bring good to them, how is it a waste of taxpayers money haha? refering to you previous article regarding mush i think you are seriously missing him which led to this rant!Recommend

  • Awien

    @M.Ijaz:
    face da truth kid …!!!!Recommend

  • Awien

    bring it on baby Recommend

  • Yasir mehmood

    @zareen
    musharraf, shaukat aziz or altaf bhaiRecommend

  • wiz

    ExcellentRecommend

  • kiani

    dont u realize how many people die oe are bieng killed every day in karachi?and u people are taking about the dialogue with MQM.i dont favour any one but the thing that i want to highligt that every one has his personal benifits. a man should b honest with the nation.Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com/ Truth Exposed

    excellent blog
    keep it upRecommend

  • Asad

    Good Read. Must say that the writer puts factual and actual history into perspective for this “Bald Eagle”. But I can safely say that 99.99% of the ppl that read and comment, 0.1% includes me by the way :), are the ones that enjoy the “off day” on probably the most important event in, atleast, this country’s past present and future, “Elections Day”. They simply dont cast their votes. And we all know how the remaining do. The “Biryani” incentive is too enticing for them!!!! Its sad to see a country with such brilliant minds yet none working towards getting the underprivileged of the society to raise their bar of choice. Zardari, Nawaz, Imran, Altaf …… the list goes on… the problem is not them it is us who let these guys attain power by feeding on the simple, naive and uneducated lot.Recommend

  • http://707monty.blogspot.com

    laptops are just part of election campaignRecommend