A private jet with Saudi markings arrived at Chaklala Airport whisking away the Punjab Chief Minister amidst speculation and rumors, which multiplied, when the presence of the Turkish Foreign Minister was also reported in the Royal Kingdom. More fuel was added as the disqualified Prime Minister and one of his sons joined the group. At home, multiple stories did their rounds. Many said that an NRO was in the offing, while others viewed the brother’s hasty departure as a consequence to summons by Saudi authorities in connection with Nawaz Sharif’s alleged links to corruption by a number of Princes, now under custody. A political celebrity even went so far as to suggest that the aircraft that transported the younger Sharif was the one under use by General Raheel Sharif (retired), Commander of the newly formed and Saudi led Coalition Forces.

There is one fact however, that is now becoming amply clear. All is not well between the Saudis and the Sharif Family. An indication of this was manifest, when during an earlier visit, the ex-Prime Minister was cold shouldered by the Royal Family. This time too, the Sharif Brothers were made to wait for a considerable amount of time before they gained access, not to the Saudi King, but his heir. When seen from outside the box, the visitors from Pakistan did not bask in the customary warmth that they had formerly received, leading many to say that perhaps rumors about their involvement in the Saudi corruption scandal were not without substance.

Also in the headlines was Donald Trump’s statement that Pakistan had received 33 billion dollars in fifteen years to fight terror, but had ‘cheated’ the US and done nothing. The US President (who deserves to be on a ‘shrink’s couch’ rather than the White House) also plagiarized his tweet by the words ‘No More’. I hope that in moments of sanity, Mr. Trump will remember that this phrase was coined by us, in response to the American chorus of ‘Do More’.  The US Chief Executive however, appears to be suffering from a complicated disorder. He has, while flaunting his golden toupee and pouting like a brat, ‘conveniently’ overlooked the fact that the dollars being referred to, were paid to us for fighting a war – an expensive undertaking indeed. Maybe someone in Washington, will take time out and tell Mr. President to drop his childish tantrums and take a grown up look at the long list of young men, who went into battle never to return. Maybe, some aide with the moral courage to do so will advise his ‘master’ to stop ‘twittering’ and take stock of the thousands of men, women and children, whose lifeless blood stained bodies on the streets of Pakistan belie his ‘ridiculous’ notion of us having ‘cheated’. All said and done, Mr. Trump is not to fret anymore, for Pakistan has already taken the first step towards rediscovering itself and to that end ‘the Golden Haired Brat’ can keep his aid, for we do not require it. What we need is understanding and friendship – two things being shared with us by a time tested friend close at hand.  

Let us forget Mr. Trump and return once again to our own scene. The morning after his return from Saudi Arabia, Mr. Nawaz Sharif appeared before the Accountability Court and then spun his customary spiel to the media, before returning to Punjab House. If television tickers are to be believed (and there is no reason not to) he may have put a foot in his mouth and stepped across the threshold this day, by directly criticizing the Honorable Head of the Apex Court for (in not so many words) neglecting his duties. The disqualified PM is also reported to have said that he (this could only be a reference to the highest judicial office) and the bench had been rejected by the people or words to that effect.

As time has gone by, Mr. Sharif’s venom against the Supreme Judiciary and the process of accountability has increased to an almost insane level. In his blind hate, he and his apparent heir in politics appear to have forgotten that they are polarizing Pakistan’s political loyalties to an irretrievably dangerous level. Such polarization is exactly in line with our enemy’s desire and this makes every patriotic Pakistani suspicious whether there is a ‘method in the Sharif madness’.


The writer is a freelance columnist.