LAHORE - July is going to be a very important month both for the political future of the family of Mian Nawaz Sharif as well as the PML-N.
On July 6, an accountability court will deliver its verdict in the Avenfield case which, if goes against Maryam, will mean the ouster of the Nawaz Sharif’s family from politics. And this will lead to the transfer of the “cane of authority” to the family of Mian Shehbaz Sharif, although the former prime minister will remain the party Quaid.
The July 25 general election will decide the fate of the PML-N. In case the party got a good public response i.e. a good number of seats in the assemblies, the party will go on. Otherwise, the possibility of its disintegration cannot be ruled out, especially so because a number of forces want to do this at any cost.
As of now, Nawaz Sharif stands disqualified from politics for good. (Another verdict against him on July 6 will bring no change in the situation). Wife Kalsoom Nawaz is fighting cancer and won’t be able to take part in politics for the rest of her life. Her mere survival will be a miracle. Both sons of the three-time former prime minister – Hussain and Hasan – have no role in Pakistan’s politics as they are foreign nationals. In case they are brought to Pakistan through Interpol, for which the procedure has already been started, they may have to face a trial on serious charges against them.
This means the political role of what is called Nawaz Sharif’s family hinges on Maryam alone, who will be able to do anything in the future only if she gets a positive verdict first from the accountability court and then people’s court on July 25. She has changed her constituency many a time because she cannot afford electoral defeat.
An adverse court verdict will seal her political fate unless there’s another verdict to overturn it. And a favourable court verdict but a negative outcome of the general election will also mean the end of the Nawaz Sharif family’s role.
This will be the first election of Maryam, and the Sharifs will have to do anything to save her political future.
Otherwise, the transfer of political role to the Shehbaz Sharif family will mark a new phase in the politics of the PML-N, which is already passing through a difficult phase.
So far, public support of the PML-N is there only because of Nawaz Sharif. Shehbaz Sharif or other leaders are only the beneficiaries.
Once the effective control of the party goes to Shehbaz Sharif, the situation will witness a remarkable change.
Many people close to MNS don’t feel comfortable with Shehbaz, and vice versa. The supporters of MNS may have to look for other options in the changed situation.
July 6, the day on which the accountability court will give its judgment, will become important for the PML-N, no matter what the verdict.
The day is followed by July 5, when ZAB’s government was overthrown in 1977. It is observed as a black day by the PPP. (This day is like October 12, 1999 for the PML-N).