The power chessboard belongs to those who know how and when to play the cards. Even after the general elections, it is not clear that who has won or lost the latest round of the battle. Imran Khan led PTI has emerged as a single largest party in the parliament but it is dependent on the coalition of the independent candidates, MQM, GDA, and BAP.
While PML-N after the worst victimization and denied of the level playing field still managed to win 64 national assembly seats. It also succeeded in emerging as the single largest party in Punjab but the independents have been told to join PTI by the unknown people thus it will be the PTI who will be forming the government in Punjab with the support of PMLQ and independents. It looks a happy ending on papers as the target is being achieved, Imran Khan finally won the throne, Sharif been out of the politics sent to jail and his fort of Punjab is almost shaking. But there is a sense of uncertainty and a fear of Sharif rising again from nowhere that has been causing headaches to the scriptwriter of the recent elections.
A free hand to PTI, Sharif and Maryam Nawaz both behind the bars was an ideal position for the invisible forces to maneuver things in their favor completely. It was meant to be a cakewalk for them, but somehow with all the odds against him, Sharif still managed to get around 13 million votes. These votes were given to the narrative of 'respect my vote'. A narrative that not a single political party ever fought any elections on this. Not even Benazir Bhutto fought any single election by challenging the traditional status quo and by openly fighting an election merely on the slogan of democratic and civil supremacy.
That is the reason Sharif and his daughter Maryam both will be happy sitting behind the bars, as they have managed to grab the sizeable number of votes in favor of their narrative. Imran Khan, on the other hand, is left with the option to act like the previous 'yes boss' kind of prime ministers. He may win the premiership in the national assembly by the margin of few votes like Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali won during the Musharraf era. However, the cost to pay for the slot of premiership is too high, like Jamali, Imran Khan will be only the ceremonial prime minister and to the decisions will be made somewhere else.
After all, the throne earned through compromises belongs to the powers who force compromises on the throne seeker. Usually, in past, the invisible forces after managing the desired results were used to end the unseen curbs and censorship on media, but this is not the case this time. Even the typical mouthpiece of the invisible forces in media are reluctant to rejoice the victory as even the defeat in elections has not weakened the defiance of Sharif and Maryam.
This makes the situation very complex as each and every single day Sharif and Maryam are spending behind the bars is increasing their political stature and it is putting the immense pressure on the orchestrator of the whole drama. Much to the surprise of the scriptwriter, Sharif has not appealed for any NRO, neither he has accepted an offer of a deal till now. Maryam Nawaz is staying strong as well and her defiance has made her the future leader of the PML-N.
Shahbaz led party has no spark and it has no charisma as well to grab the votes from Punjab. So this leaves the battle open, as if Sharif and Maryam opt to stay behind the bars it will almost be impossible for the invisible forces to eliminate them from the political horizon. Sharif knows it that a weak government of PTI in the center and in the province of Punjab can easily be exploited by giving it the tough time in the assembly and by protesting against the alleged riggings in the elections. Imran Khan badly needs Asif Zardari led PPP to bail him out as he cannot get a single bill pass from the national assembly or the Senate. The cases on Zardari are reopened and if he falls prey to the invisible forces that we might see some nerves settling down in the center.
As far as Sharif is concerned the game is not over yet. As long as Sharif prefers to stay behind the bars and do not seek any deal from the powers to be, his vote bank will remain intact and his narrative will strengthen with each passing day. If he and Maryam both are given bails by the court, then they can create a havoc for the already weak PTI led coalition government and it can loosen the grip of the invisible forces on the power chess board.
On the other hand, if the invisible forces somehow break the defiance of Sharif and Maryam, and force them to seek an NRO, Sharif’s politics will be over and no one in the near future will ever dare to challenge the status quo. In the power chess board, only the positions are changed no one has been thrown out of the game until now. Sharif’s PML-N has been pushed on the backfoot and Imran Khan-led PTI has been brought on the front foot, but Sharif and Maryam both are not knocked out of the game as it is the resistance in the adverse times that determine the outcome of the battles.
The game is not over till it is over and so far it is evenly poised as both Sharif and Maryam are battling it out and it will almost be next to impossible to keep them behind the bars for the longer period of time. The number game does not matter in the path of the politics which is based on resistance, it is the nerves to absorb pressure and to rise above the temporary setbacks that decide the winners. For the invisible forces, it is all about convincing Sharif for an NRO and Sharif Led PML-N will be finished from the political horizons, on the other hand, a defiance and resisting the discomfort of jail and mental torture is the order of the day for Sharif and Maryam. If Sharif and Maryam can hold their nerves no one can stop them from rising against all the odds. A thrilling and nerve wrecking battle on the power chess board still awaits all the players as it is far from over yet.