FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
New lessons for Nawaz Sharif
Posted:Aug 6, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The judicial ouster of an elected prime minister in controversial circumstances was always likely to generate political uncertainty. But as Nawaz Sharif prepares to return to Lahore via the GT Road and an unseemly war of words continues between the PTI and PML-N, the political landscape is beginning to appear dangerously unsettled. Much may depend on the course that Mr Sharif decides to take in the days and weeks ahead. At least in words, the ousted prime minister has been circumspect and seemingly focused on democratic continuity and stability. Speaking to media representatives on Saturday, Mr Sharif did not lash out at the verdict against him and expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue with all political parties, including the PML-N’s opponents. The Charter of Democracy signed by Mr Sharif and Benazir Bhutto in 2006 was also referenced.
 
Yet, Mr Sharif’s imminent return to Lahore is shaping up to be an intensely political episode in which the PML-N may try and flaunt its street power. Given that the PML-N is in power in Punjab, there is unlikely to be serious violence, but clashes with PTI supporters cannot be ruled out. The PML-N leadership should send a firm and unambiguous message to its supporters to avoid any incendiary words or actions, and the Punjab government ought to give assurances to opposition parties that peaceful rival protests or gatherings will be allowed. Just as Imran Khan’s historic October 2011 rally in Lahore was the start of an extended election campaign, Nawaz Sharif’s GT Road journey to the city may mark the beginning of the PML-N’s next campaign. With all parties emphasising that democracy must stay on track and elections must be held, common sense ought to prevail on all sides.
 
Mr Sharif has spoken of lessons learned from his 1999 ouster. He may want to consider learning some new lessons from his latest ouster. In the PTI, the PML-N has faced a hostile opponent intent on capturing power. But the PML-N, as Mr Sharif’s comments on Saturday suggest, has been more keen to pat itself on the back for not resorting to offensive politics rather than genuinely engaging the political opposition. The isolationist tendencies of Mr Sharif have meant that parliament has been ignored and both friends and potential allies have been kept at arm’s length – unless the PML-N is in trouble and needs their support. It is strange that Mr Sharif appears to have a clear-eyed understanding of what can sustain democracy in Pakistan but has been unable to bring himself to practise it. Politics, however, should be forward-looking. Mr Sharif has yet another chance to demonstrate that he and the PML-N can put the good of the system ahead of personal and party ambition.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
Senior representatives from the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Muscat, Oman, on Monday to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban, but the insurgent group failed to participate in the meeting being held after a year.
 
read-more
Ruskin Bond’s first novel ‘Room on the Roof’ describes in vivid detail how life in the hills around Dehradun used to be. Bond, who is based in Landour, Mussoorie, since 1963, captured the imagination of countless readers as he painted a picture of an era gone by.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
Braid-chopping incidents have added to the already piled up anxieties of Kashmiris. Once again they are out on the streets, to give vent to their anger. A few persons, believed to be braid-choppers were caught hold by irate mobs at various places. They were beaten to pulp.
 
read-more
Communist parties everywhere gather the ranks every five years to review the past, set future direction, renew political leadership and rejig organisational structure.
 
read-more
In a move lauded worldwide, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud recently issued a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licences.
 
read-more
The death toll from Saturday’s twin truck bombs in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has crossed 300.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive