The Sharifs are making headlines in Pakistan, and how. The father-daughter duo of Nawaz and Maryam Sharif have taken to launch a scathing attack on not just the Imran Khan-led puppet government in Islamabad, but also, to the surprise of many, an unflinching offensive against the Islamic country’s all-pervasive military establishment, which rules over all aspects of life of an average Pakistani. The attack has come in the backdrop of the opposition parties uniting under one umbrella in the country to demand the immediate ouster of Imran Khan as the Prime Minister, who has the backing of GHQ Rawalpindi.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who is increasingly being seen as a vociferous proponent of democracy in Pakistan has mounted an aggressive campaign against the military establishment of the country, particularly after what has seemingly been a vendetta-driven hounding of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the PTI government and the Army-ISI duo since 2018.
On Wednesday, Pakistan President Arif Alvi approved elections to be conducted for the Legislative Assembly of illegally occupied Gilgit Baltistan on November 15. This follows a meeting held recently at the Pakistan Army’s Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, where the military establishment had given the go-ahead for elections in illegally-occupied Gilgit Baltistan. Mincing no words, Maryam Sharif said, “I don’t know where dinner was held or not. The meeting was called on the Gilgit Baltistan issue. Gilgit Baltistan is a political issue. It is an issue that has to be dealt with by government representatives. Such decisions have to be taken in Parliament and not GHQ. I don’t know whether Nawaz Sharif was aware of this meeting or not. (The military) should not call the political leaders for such an issue. And neither should the political leaders have gone. Who wants to discuss it can come to the Parliament.”
The comments by Maryam came after Nawaz Sharif had himself taken the Pakistani military and its stooges in the ‘elected’ civilian government to the cleaners. Nawaz Sharif explained how the sanctity of people’s vote has been always trampled upon by the Pakistani Army. He also reminded the conglomeration of opposition leaders about the fact that no elected Prime Minister of the country has been able to complete a five-year tenure, owing to the military’s heavy and brazen involvement in the politics and governance of the country. He described this phenomenon as a “state above the state”.
In 2018, pursuant to typical vendetta cum extermination politics in Pakistan, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, owing to heavy involvement of the military in the comical country’s judiciary had been found guilty of charges of corruption, subsequent to which he was sentenced to seven-years jailtime. However, in less than a year, owing to chronic medical conditions, Sharif was rushed to London for treatment. He has been in the United Kingdom ever since.
Nawaz Sharif is a decent political leader, who was not an absolute stooge of the military establishment in Pakistan, and who, from time to time, stood up to the Pakistani Army and ISI to assert himself as the rightful leader of the country, elected to the position by the public. This was reason enough for the Army and ISI to get rid of the man, and replace him with a stooge – Imran Khan, who was made to win the Pakistani elections after heavy rigging.
Having served three incomplete terms as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif is perhaps the most well-versed politician who knows about the involvement of the Pakistani military in the governance of the country like nobody else does. As Prime Minister, while Nawaz Sharif was not blatantly pro-India, since that would simply be a political suicide in Pakistan, he was definitely not a desperate clown like Imran Khan, whose life revolves around the Kashmir issue, and who, in pursuit of the Pakistani Army’s obsession with Kashmir and India, has sent relations between Islamabad and the Saudi world on a downward spiral.
In fact, Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, prior to the Pathankot terror attack did share quite a unique equation. Whether it be bilateral meetings on the side-lines of multinational summits or PM Modi’s surprise landing in Pakistan on Sharif’s birthday, the two evoked a sense of hope that the Kashmir issue aside, relations between both the countries could be friendly. However, this was a thorn in the eyes of the Pakistani military establishment, which executed the Pathankot terror attack soon after, after which India has treated Pakistan as an outcast country which does not exist. The Uri terror attack only further exacerbated the strain in relations between the two countries, as India conducted surgical strikes in response.
Under Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani deep state and army had always conspired against India, and worked overtime to ensure that any relative peace and thaw in ties between the two countries be destroyed. In line with the same, in 1999, after Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif brought the two countries close, the Pakistani military initiated the Kargil War. The Kargil War misadventure was the brainchild of then Pakistani Army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf kept the political class including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the blind regarding Kargil and that was the key reason which prompted Sharif to oust him as the Army chief, however, Musharraf had other plans, and it ultimately resulted in the coup and ouster of Sharif.
All terror attacks on India, when Nawaz Sharif was Prime Minister, are said to have been works of the Pakistani Army and ISI, who worked behind the back of Sharif to sour ties between the countries.
Nawaz Sharif has in fact time and again slammed the terror establishments of Pakistan. In 2018, he publicly criticised Pakistan’s terror network and also admitted the role of Pakistani terrorists in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, which was carried out at the behest of Pakistan’s deep state, ISI. He also questioned why Ajmal Kasab and 9 others were allowed to carry out the attacks. No wonder why the Army-terror nexus dislikes him.
Unlike Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif has emerged as a leader who despises the Pakistani Army and ISI’s role in government, and hopes to install a fully functional liberal democracy in Pakistan. For this very reason, the Pakistani deep state in turn despises Nawaz Sharif and his family.