Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar while giving the impression to voluntarily present himself before the law created dramatic scenes in Rawalpindi. Despite the imposition of section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) in the city, he attracted a large crowd before ensuring his surrender. Optics matter in politics a lot. Being successful in taking supporters of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) to the streets, Safdar did a show of street power before going behind bars. And his display of power is one such shows. PML-N will, it can be safely assumed, show its real might on the day Mian Nawaz Shareef and Maryam Nawaz land in the country.
What does the arrest drama of Safdar show? The arrest drama not short of a power show implies that PML-N still enjoys a significant supporters base. Those who think that verdict against Nawaz family will create a significant dent in the popularity of PML-N are probably mistaken in their assumptions, as the crowds in Rawalpindi tell us. While speaking before the crowd, Captain (r) Safdar also tried to mix politics and religion. However, his assertion that he was being arrested for his stance on the Prophet’s finality issue is not only misleading but also completely false.
Now that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz have decided to come to Pakistan to surrender before the law, it is easy to imagine how PML-N supporters will react to their arrest. The scene of Safdar’s arrest is perhaps a premonition of what the government should expect when father and daughter are to be arrested. It is highly likely that Nawaz Sharif will make all his efforts to create a political drama as soon as he lands in Pakistan. Before going to jail, Nawaz will make one final appeal to his voters to do their utmost on the Election Day. Gauging the political implications of Nawaz’s arrest and what his last move will be is not difficult at all. He will play his last remaining card, i.e., the victim card from behind bars on July 25th.