Public pressure is a strategy which may partially work well for politicians; however, we wonder if they ever look at the reaction to such threats. Nawaz Sharif’s threat that he will “spill the beans” of what took place in Islamabad for the last four years, may ring well in the ears of his supporters, but comes up as contradictory to those who critically analyse it.

Nawaz’s statement clearly implied that there were external factors which were and had been getting in the way of fair and free elections; which were harming democracy and inducing artificial support for their favourable political parties. Nawaz Sharif also indicates that such interference had been occurring for some time, as he threatened to spill the happening of the last four years. Perhaps the most obvious question that arises out of Nawaz’s statement is: if these interferences had been occurring for the last few years during his regime, why did the self-proclaimed democracy supremacist not point it out earlier? Interference by the establishment is a very serious allegation, and if he truly feels the 2018 elections are under threat, the nation needs to know about it. Perhaps it is time he stops talking in euphemisms and actually reveals the secrets he claims he holds.

The Sharif family has enough on its plate to deal with regarding unexplained secrets; as the reason for their high-profile visit to Saudi Arabia is still not determined. What makes the situation more difficult to assess is the noticeably different answers by the Sharif brothers. Instead of explaining the mysterious visit; instead Nawaz has gone on the offensive, while Shahbaz Sharif simply said he went to perform umra while denying any report of an NRO-type deal.

Different public explanations, or lack thereof, just add to the conspiracy theories, and to the rumours of differences in the family. Shahbaz Sharif being sent an official plane by his hosts, while Nawaz Sharif flew privately, adds fuel to the flames, making plausible that future political conditions, with Shahbaz as the premier, were discussed and encouraged by the Saudi rulers.

Instead of adding to the noise, it would be helpful to come clean and win public support for a clear and complete plan for the party’s future in the 2018 elections.