#GameOver: Nawaz Sharif now has only two options – resign or be forced to resign

Published: July 11, 2017
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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Alas, the unthinkable has happened. The eagerly anticipated joint investigation team (JIT) findings have implicated the members of the ruling Sharif family for not only concealing assets, but for failing to reveal their sources of income and presenting a fake money trail.

Startling revelations made by Panamagate JIT in final report https://goo.gl/YxZNQ2

Posted by Express Tribune Video on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Sharif family members have officially been declared ‘criminals’ by the JIT findings.

Over the last few months, we witnessed the most appalling, cringe-worthy and condemnable portrayal of arrogant self-righteousness by the ruling party, despite receiving the ire of the public. No amount of shaming could budge the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders from their stance and admit that they could be at fault.

The House of Nawaz Sharif (as in Game of Thrones) has chosen to remain adamant that the accusations are nothing but a tactic of their opponents to gain traction. So much so, that Maryam Nawaz went to the extent of declaring the Panama papers as ‘trash’ and hurling accusations at the foreign journalists behind it. That was before they aptly put her in her place with evidence confirming her involvement in the whole fiasco.

However, in the wake of the JIT proceedings leading up to its conclusion, the PML-N sycophants crossed all limits in their failed attempts to bereft the lawsuit of credibility by aggressively attacking the judges, JIT members and of course, Imran Khan.

mudslinging match ensued when Talal Chaudhary, Khwaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif, Asif Kirmani and others shoved their moral values down the drain in their attempts to flatter their master. Let us not forget Nehal Hashmi, who verbally attacked the judiciary as well.

Senior PML-N leader threatens SC judges, JIT in viral video https://goo.gl/ilZ9tr

Posted by Express Tribune on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The final desperate attempts at pressurising the JIT team and influencing the outcome of its probe proved futile considering yesterday’s outcome. Imran wasted no time in demanding Nawaz’s resignation and Nawaz was seen trying to sway the public opinion in PML-N’s support.

 It seems that Nawaz only has two options now – either resign or be forced to resign.

The public’s anger towards them has been increasing with every new piece of evidence emerging. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader’s rhetoric of waging a war against the corrupt mafia has also appealed to the masses and largely fuelled anti-Nawaz sentiments across the nation.

It’s clear as day that Nawaz doesn’t respect the will of the public, and now he has even refused to accept the JIT findings. Why doesn’t that surprise me? This refusal may cost him dearly and he shouldn’t even think of attacking the courts like his party did back in the 90s.

Sheikh Rasheed’s passed the following statement:

“If the PML-N storms the apex court as its leaders and activists did in 1997, PTI chairman Imran Khan will come out in support of the judiciary.”

The aforementioned statement indicates that if PML-N resists the decision like it did in the past, it will make Imran more determined to fight back.

Imran has successfully positioned himself as the sole warrior against corrupt practices and looters. Even those who were critical of him in the past can be seen singing his praises and well, why shouldn’t they be?

Imran was bashed mercilessly for his stance, blamed for acting as a foreign agent for destabilising the country and mocked endlessly for not knowing about politics. The PML-N stooges, including Ishaq Dar, even resorted to personal attacks against him, but he proved his mettle by coming out stronger.

Attacking the judiciary would only result in chaos, destabilising the country, and may even bring it to the brink of civil war. But what is all this for? Do the Sharifs want to cling onto power for a bit longer? A few more days of rule won’t do Nawaz any good.

Since Nawaz and his party cannot resort to violence-based tactics, it seems there is little he can do to ensure his survival. Appealing against the report and contesting it would be like fighting a legal battle that has already been lost. Once a public office holder has been disqualified by two judges of the highest court, declared as the Mafia Godfather by them, compared to the Sicilian Mafia, and proven corrupt by representatives of five national institutions, there’s not much one can do.

It’s about time Nawaz does the right thing by making good on his promise and hands over the reins of the country to a family member, which would be ironic since all Sharif family members are up to their necks in corruption. But it’s the best Nawaz can offer us for now.

As per the rumour mill, the Sharif children namely, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, who built their family fortunes on looted public money, have already abandoned the sinking ship.

Fleeing the country not only proves their guilt but also serves as an indication of the tough times ahead for the Sharifs. In doing so, they have made it clear that they are nothing more than dishonest individuals who came to this country either to devour its resources or to defend their wrongdoings.

If Hassan’s fleeing is any indication of the future, Nawaz may be planning to escape as well. Maryam stated, “Stop Nawaz if you can” after her appearance before the JIT. Well, the law enforcement agencies and the courts should accept the challenge and do everything in their power to stop Nawaz from leaving the country. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s final decision, all remaining guilty members of the Sharif family must be put on the Exit Control List (ECL) immediately.

Now that Nawaz’s crimes have been proved, it’s evident that his lengthy stay in power is the only source of his family’s wealth. In a country like China, that has zero tolerance for corruption, he would have faced the death sentence. While in a true democracy like South Korea, he would have been sent to prison. But such measures are not implemented in Pakistan. Unfortunately, we welcome the corrupt with open arms.

The Sharif reign seems to be near its end. It’s not a question of if, rather of when he will leave. We, as a nation, cannot bear the burden of Nawaz any longer which is why by resigning now, he may garner some admiration and hence make way for face saving – something that could help him in the upcoming elections.

Only someone living in an alternate reality would expect the Supreme Court to decide in favour of the Sharif’s now. Disqualification by the full court bench this time or being sent to prison sounds like the writing on the wall. But the million dollar question is, would Nawaz be able to read it?

Ahsan Zafeer

Ahsan Zafeer

The author is interested in politics, social issues and sports. He has a passion for writing and believes that issues can be resolved through discussion. He tweets as @AhsanZafeer (twitter.com/AhsanZafeer)

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

  • PakPatriot

    Why gameover, We have voted nawaz for not this cowardly act. To give up without fighting. Nawaz should challange JIT report in Supreme court and if not here, Should go international court of Justice. After that should decide what to doRecommend

  • Parvez

    History shows that what SHOULD happen……..is not necessarily what WILL happen and therein lies the misfortune of the poor people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ali Yusuf Qureshi

    Agree with what the author, Ahsan Zafeer, has written. But I am apprehensive that the status quo that the Sharif’s represent, as the epitome of the corrupt elite, will not go down that easily and not without firing a few parting shots at the interests and well being of this nation and its teaming masses.Recommend

  • Rohan

    Lets hope there’s another coupRecommend

  • ab

    what do you do in your spare time?Recommend

  • ab

    I can understand your interest in this blog. The last few days,modi would be having sleepless nights.Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    actual analysis I appreciateRecommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    Yes, I agree with you.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Go to ICJ? They would laugh Team Sharif out of court since they have no jurisdiction over Pakistani political matters, nor would they want to!
    BTW, how about that Team Sharif forged documents allegedly signed in February 2006, written with software not released until January 2007????Recommend

  • Afnan Ahmad

    extremely biased article. It appears to be from some die-hard PTI worker.Recommend

  • Ahsan Zafeer

    Yes In India and genocidal modi is removed, lets hope thatRecommend

  • Sane

    Many legal wranglings are available with Sharifs to get acquitted ‘respectfully’. Let see.Recommend

  • khan

    they read abt us, they have inferiority complex…Recommend

  • khan

    its an honest article which u r not able to accept…Recommend

  • Noble Intellect

    unhappy hindutva fundementalist I presume?Recommend

  • Rohan

    None of your businessRecommend

  • RSP2022

    Are we redefining the meaning of “Shareef”? If yes, fine otherwise, place the word in the lowest of the lowest ebb.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    So you say that Team Sharif is above the law and can do no wrong, no matter how many Pakistani laws he breaks with impunity!
    WHY should any Pakistani pay taxes if Team Sharif gets a pass????Recommend

  • Tariq Mahmood

    “Alas!”
    Why are you sad?
    “JIT has officially declared….”
    Is there unofficial version of JIT?
    Stay put MateRecommend

  • Khalid Latif

    If the opposition parties have enough commonsence, their first strategy (paramount) should be to have (N) party completely banned. Their second effort needs to be ‘Nawaz punished and disgraced’ for corruption and no more being a Sadiq nor Amin, as a PM of Pakistan, followed by his dismissal. Nawaz’s resignation is the only condition which will help him keep his image before the nation, hence, a great help in (N)’s future success.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    The people of Pakistan are not poor but regarded lethargic in intelligent reactions. Peopl s will have always have the upper hand . The Sharifs have disqualified themselves to rule the country and must voluntarily go in exile, the posture all previous unwanted leaders have followed. The country will always face the follow up, when there is none to replace the government from current incumbents; definitely not Bilal or Imran?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    Sharifs have played out their role, let them enjoy the booty in exile. Imran Khan is not the alternative but others will appear on the scene to repair the damage the Sharifs have caused by indebting the country relying on returns from the infra struture projects.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Patwari

    With all due respects, the Raja of Raiwind looted and
    plundered $3.8 billion dollars [USD]. Not chump change.
    It is common knowledge that Punjabis are brainwashed
    about the Mian Bozo Brothers Clan, from infanthood.
    Bozos are considered God’s gift to Pakland. Pretty sure
    Punjabi mothers sing songs about the Bozo Brothers to
    their children. It’s called ethnic/provincialism.
    Some, like you, go beyond the pale.
    On the other hand, your family has been and still is employed
    by the Bozo Brothers Circus. Living on their largess. So it
    transpires that your world is crumbling. All around.
    A family that gives corruption lessons to Robert Mugabe of
    Zimbabwe has no place in the Land of the Pure.
    A family’s 19 yrs. old son is able to buy 4 multi million Pound Sterling properties in Mayfair, London years ago. Barely out
    of college. No proof where or how he got the money !!
    This family has no place in Pakland. None.
    What is so pathetic here, is, you are condoning this looting.
    Where is your moral compass? Do you have one?Recommend

  • Patwari

    Agree with you 100% You nailed it.Recommend

  • Patwari

    There is no ‘economic empire’ A lot of shell companies
    within companies. Are used to launder money. None of
    them show a profit.
    A lot of smoke and mirrors and innovative book keeping.
    Defaulting on loans of billions of rupees. too. for years.
    Even the sugar mills owned by them are not showing a
    profit. But are used to launder money.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    By your reasoning, Pakistan should let all connected VIP financial criminals keep what they have looted from the country and enjoy a luxurious life overseas! That flawed concept would appear to be a great incentive for others to do the same to Pakistan in the future!Recommend

  • Sane

    No need to reply ‘nonsense’.Recommend

  • Sane

    Other can only emerge for repair, when all looters and plunderers in this country are prosecuted and punished indiscriminately.Recommend

  • Rohan

    Learn English
    If you don’t like it then it’s nOt nonsenseRecommend

  • Patwari

    True. Sharif’s two sons live in London. Permanently.
    And run the Sharif Bro…er….ooops! Bozo Brothers
    money laundering businesses/enterprises from London.
    Currently 19 properties are owned by Bozo Cabal in London.
    Very likely the brothers have dual citizenships.
    You can buy a Swiss, Canadian, French, Swedish,
    Danish, Italian, Irish, Norwegian citizenship if you invest
    about $500,000 dollars in that particular country. For US
    it’s about $700,000.
    All these countries are BEAUTIFUL. Lush and green.
    Then there is Dubai,….Recommend