The doors have closed, the bus has been missed and the train has left the station and there is no seat for Nawaz on it. Any hopes that Nawaz Sharif had to exonerate itself through the legal system have been dashed with the Supreme Court (SC)’s detailed judgement on the review petition of the Panama case.

It seems that the judges had been watching the anti-judiciary tirade put up by some Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders for the past few months, as they went ahead to answer every dramatic query posed by the ousted prime minister. The SC condemned Nawaz for denying an asset or defending a trust deed calling it below the dignity of the office of the prime minister. Sharif deliberately concealed his assets and wilfully and dishonestly made a false declaration and extreme circumstances called for extreme measures. In the most ruining statement, the Court said that Nawaz tried to fool the people inside and outside the parliament.

This judgment effectively signifies the end of Nawaz’s prime ministerial aims for the foreseeable future. There is and should not be any legal loophole left for Nawaz to contest elections. However, this does not spell the end of his political career. He is still the head of the majority political party and has guaranteed a majority in the upcoming Senate elections, and probably in the National Assembly too.

The judgment serves important lessons to all. Nawaz should take it as a sign to move forward and focus on the future elections instead of beating a dead horse. He can sit comfortable as the President of a majority party, with a brother for the Prime Minister; going down on a confrontational route against the judiciary can comprise what he has now. Nawaz should accept this with grace now and not attempt to pass any more nonsensical tailor-made laws.

This judgment should serve a chance for the SC to reflect on how to go about anti-corruption. The judiciary should take up the mandate to crack down against any parliamentarians guilty of violating constitutional requirements. Perhaps the SC should remind itself that this is an anti-corruption movement, not an anti-Nawaz movement, in the disqualification case against Jahangir Tareen, where the tone of the SC is noticeably softer. While the Court is yet to decide in that case, it is ironic that SC interprets the matter of time lapse of a violation differently from the Nawaz case. We leave it to best judgment of SC, but it should not taint the crucial Panama decision by leaving fodder for conspiracies of bias.