Every often we see in movies that whenever a villain kills a man he sees as a threat, he also makes sure to kill his son too, who at that moment happens to be just a child. The reason they do that is so that the remains of the deceased do not end up being an unintended consequence, eventually causing irreversible, and unexpected, damage. Maryam Nawaz is one such unintended consequence of disgracefully ousting Nawaz Sharif for the third time.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday filed a new application in her appeals seeking annulment of the verdict in the Avenfield Apartment reference. The accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir had on July 6, 2018 — 19 days before the general elections — convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Captain Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield Apartment reference and handed them jail terms of 10 years, seven years and a year, respectively, for owning assets beyond known sources of income.
The primary reason for filing this new application is not to add some more stuff to her legal defence — since her lawyers have already taken the same grounds in their submitted appeals —but to at least attempt to circumvent the predefined victory of her opponents. That is not to say that the judiciary will most definitely decide the appeals against Maryam. But things have happened in the past when the judiciary was in fact under pressure and judges even had to rely on lines from novels to justify their verdicts such as penned by former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa: ‘behind every fortune there is a crime’. His predecessor Justice Saqib Nisar ran a whole campaign against Nawaz Sharif by consistently ridiculing the everyday issues, which have forever existed in Pakistan. The conduct of the Supreme Court in the Zainab case and the Dam Fund is a classic testament to this phenomenon. Obviously things are not easily undone once they have happened, but Maryam will take every opportunity to save her and her family a face in politics. The only weapon she is left with is nuisance, be it in the form of media talks or attacks on the establishment, especially after the discovery of millions of assets owned by the former CPEC Chairman General Asim Bajwa.
Maryam will take every opportunity to save her family’s face. The only weapon she is left with is nuisance, be it in the form of media talks or attacks on the establishment
In my previous articles I have often referred to the dilemma in which the courts are often put these days. The dilemma in the sense that in some cases whichever way the judiciary leans, and gives a verdict, it seems concocted. For instance, had the judiciary not disqualified Nawaz Sharif the whole nation would have been brainwashed to believe that the judiciary was bought by Nawaz Sharif. By the same token, the judiciary did not yield much praise either by even condemning Nawaz Sharif from politics forever. The Musharraf verdict was a dilemma too. Had Justice Waqar Seth not convicted Musharraf under Article 6, the judiciary would still have been under attack by the civil society for being lenient towards the establishment and holding a different yardstick of justice when it comes to the men in khaki. Convicting him, on the other hand, was not very heavenly either. So much so that the law minister called Justice Seth ‘mad’ in a press conference and it is now after his death that Barrister Farogh Naseem has tendered an apology before the Peshawar High Court in a contempt of court petition filed by some legal counsels.
Yet again, either way, hell is waiting for judiciary in both the cases whether it annuls the verdict against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam or upholds it. And this trend is likely to continue for a good number of years to come. The power of establishment has become dented for the first time in the history ever since the Imran formula went awry. More has come to light now that for the first time it is being openly discussed as to what’s cooking behind the appointment of the DG ISI. This newfound bravado is only attributable to the establishment itself for its thoughtless intervention in politics ever since Imran Khan staged his show in Islamabad, the capital, in 2014. Speaking of unintended consequences, the TLP is yet another unintended consequence. Just days ago, the government itself let go of the man who is responsible for destruction of millions of property.
This is likely to become a forever hell for judiciary as even the politics of the country has been so politicised that nothing ever seems normal. Once the decision from high court comes, another battle for the Supreme Court will ensue between the interested parties, and we are likely to see a new Justice Saqib Nisar with a different face and biography. The superior courts must now establish a swift system of justice and stand firm their ground, or else these dilemmas are likely to destroy the justice system.
Who would have thought that a lady who has not done that great in academia in her time, whose brothers are but mild businessmen, would be garnering praise from millions across the streets and become the only obstacle in the forever smooth cycle of power?
Who would have thought that a general of the Pakistan Army would be ridiculed in streets for owning one of the biggest pizza chain in the United states of America?
Bilawal, on the other hand, is more a Zardari than a Bhutto. One reason for that could also be the consequences of being a Bhutto, almost all of whom had a tragic end to their ambitions. The boss was hanged, his two sons died in mysterious circumstances, while Benazir Bhutto assassinated during a military dictator’s rule. Therefore, Bilawal would want to become someone like his father and have the devil’s own luck than to be his grandfather and meet a catastrophe.
The establishment has been in an experimental phase, when it comes to ending the politics of the PML-N and the PPP, after Imran Khan failed to deliver the promises that he had so vehemently made. It is hesitant to push all the buttons at once due to the opaque sort of government set up by Khan. They are aware that bringing Imran Khan into power was easy but Imran Khan has no tail. Once Khan is gone, there is nothing to settle the dust with. The establishment is going through a phase of consternation after their dreams of defeating the opposing forces faltered due to the unexpected failure of PTI. At the end of the day whichever regime fails to provide for people will eventually fail.
Despite all the failures of PTI, most of which they attribute to the PPP and the PML-N exclusively, it has somehow succeeded in establishing itself as a legit government. So much so that a big chunk of the population has actually started believing that if it weren’t for the PPP and the PML-N, Pakistan would be a superpower today. It is almost every other week that the same government which used to boast about shrinking the prices is onto hiking it. People have become accustomed to hardships in their lives and have compromised their hopes. And this is where PTI has, in fact, succeeded.
As satisfied as a whole lot of people may be, there is another lot which feels the exact opposite and is so very much in need of a replacement. Maryam has dramatically altered, or has at least held in abeyance, the future politics of Pakistan and perhaps has also saved her father from a demeaning end to his politics.
The establishment did not do their homework right this time when they were bringing Khan and ousting Sharif. They presumed that the daughter of a filthy rich man would be akin to her brothers and be a mere business lady. Instead, that filthy rich businessman came back to Pakistan along with Maryam to serve their sentences. Although Nawaz Sharif’s departure then does seem like a runaway but his decision to come back was so audacious that his runaway has not dented his politics much and most of his voters consider his stay in UK justified. And while he is away, the vacuum is being filled excellently by Maryam Nawaz, the unintended consequence of the establishment’s experiment.