Politics of possibilities
Islamabad, Pakistan: After the decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to leave for London on Wednesday for his medical checkup, Islamabad is engulfed by rumours and conspiracy theories.
The decision of Prime Minister Nawaz to leave for London came at evening while his decision of not going to Turkey for an official visit came at morning. Unofficial sources claim that Prime Minister Nawaz postponed his visit to Turkey and stay in Pakistan to fight back Panama Leaks issues since his family is in the middle of controversies including the allegations of tax evading and putting money out of country in offshore firms. However, at evening of April 11, official spokesman of Prime Minister released a statement that Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif would leave for London for overdue medical tests. It may be mentioned that he was scheduled to leave for London in last week of March but he postponed his visit due to deaths of over 70 people in Lahore in a suicide bomb blast in a children park.
Media reports suggest that his son Hussian Nawaz left country for Dubai and would visit to Saudi Arabia before reaching London where his father would reach before him. Reported visit of Hussian Nawaz is being linked with Panama Leaks issue by media-persons and certain circles are claiming that Hussian Nawaz would meet Royal family of Saudi Arabia to brief about impact of Panama Leaks over his family. It may be mentioned that Hussian Nawaz indicated in one of his television interviews that appeared before Panama Leaks came on surface in which he said that Saudi Royal family provided financial support to his family to rebuild their business after they were deported from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia by former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Musharrf who booted out democratic government of Mian Nawaz Sharif on October 12, 1999. Hussian Nawaz suggests that the money he has in offshore companies actually came out from his businesses he started with the support of Saudi friends.
Political circles in Pakistan claim that Prime Minster Mian Nawaz Sharif is in serious political dilemma after Panama Leaks appeared in international media and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) announced sit in against Nawaz government again but this time this sit in would not be outside Parliament like the previous one but it would be staged in Lahore outside the residence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Lahore is a Vatican of PMLN and there are serious chances of clash between PMLN and PTI workers in case of any sit in outside PM Nawaz residence in Jati Umrah Lahore.
Political party of Prime Minister Nawaz PMLN has over 52% seats in National Assembly and his government cannot be replaced in parliament even if all other political parties join hands in 342-membered national Assembly. Technically, Prime Minister has no threat democratically and horse trading is also not possible due to new rules of Parliament. Any member of parliament who will cross over the floor will lose membership in parliament—stripping of membership is a hanging sword over parliamentarians of every political party now. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif can only be replaced by his own political party or by disbanding the National Assembly. His party (PMLN) can announce a new Leader of the House and then can elect him or her through balloting.
National Assembly can be disbanded by the Prime Minister himself or by apolitical and undemocratic powers. There is a third option to replace him and that lies with him. He can announce his resignation and can disband his cabinet and asks his party to choose a new Leader of the House.
Certain anti-government circles are expecting a suo motu action by the Supreme Court of Pakistan asking Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to leave the office of the Prime Minister unless Supreme Court investigates his involvement in Panama Leaks issue. Supreme Court of Pakistan has a history of taking such suo motus in past against sitting governments therefore possibility of such action cannot be ruled out.
Meanwhile, government circles are confident that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif faces no threat from any quarter and people have already rejected confrontational politics of PTI and his chief Imran Khan.
Next couple of weeks will clear political situation in Pakistan — a country that is fighting against terrorism successfully and putting its economy on track.