In my two decades of wielding the pen, I have come to understand what the wise men of old meant, when they said that ‘evil doers only needed to step across the ‘threshold of hesitancy once’ during their lifetime. It is indeed regrettable that nowhere in the world has this adage been demonstrated as succinctly as in the ‘Land of the Pure’.
I remember a time, when my seriously ailing mother was visited in hospital by the Chief Minister of Punjab – a young man nurtured and sponsored by the dictator Zia ul Haq. What I saw that morning, was someone humble, down to earth and respectful, who walked up to the hospital bed rather shyly, in a display of perfect bedside manners. Years went by and I saw this man step across the ‘infamous’ threshold. As often happens in such cases, he climbed the political scale rapidly, becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan thrice – never completing a term because somewhere in his blind pursuit of power and wealth, he developed a character based on hatred, vengeance, arrogance, delusionary grandeur and deceit. These qualities bred self-centered decision making, poor governance skills, corruption and ‘Chanakyan’ politics. He began behaving like royalty surrounded by a throng of courtiers, who fawned upon his whims, reaping immeasurable profits in the process. He deeply polarised society into those that hated him and those, who were blind to everything that he did, even if it meant compromising national security. His love of wealth, overrode the folly of ‘sleeping with the enemy’ making him believe that money could buy anything. His successful strategy emboldened him to the extent that he ‘fell in love with himself’ and that is where fate overtook him.
Nawaz Sharif should have taken time off from his activities to read Greek Mythology and the tale of Narcissus, son of the river deity Cephissus and nymph Liriope. So proud was this youth of his beauty that he grew disdainful. Drawn to a pool of water by Nemesis, he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, only to sit on the spot staring at himself and pining away. I personally, feel only pity for the disqualified PM’s tortured soul and the fact that his condition, like Narcissus, is a monster of his own creation. This monster grows more venomous with time until it will, in all probability, self-destruct into oblivion.
The ex PM’s language has undergone an imperceptible change since his return from Saudi Arabia, wherein he has pulled out all stops in his verbal attacks against the two institutions in his ‘sights’. It is said that the senior Sharif was once more cold shouldered in a twelve minute frigid meeting with the Saudi Heir. If this is true, then the sudden rise in his temper could be attributed to the desperate ravings of a man, who knows that he has lost. Whether the two brothers were summoned by the Saudis because of their financial connections with members of the royal family now being investigated for corruption, is conjectural and events yet to come may clear the prevailing murkiness. One thing is however indisputable i.e. that Messrs. Nawaz and Shahbaz flew to Riyadh in something of a panic.
While Nawaz Sharif’s body language is indeed sending out wrong signals within the Party, the resignation of PML N Chief Minister Balochistan has aggravated Ruling Party woes to a new level. As if this wasn’t enough, the possible fallout from the death of two protestors due to police firing in Kasur, will in all probability force multiply the street agitation planned by Pakistan Awami Tehreek and its Allies - a nightmarish situation indeed for CM Punjab and the PM. This is a scenario, which cannot be mitigated without sacrificing one or more ‘lambs’.
What has become abundantly clear is the fact that Mr. Nawaz Sharif did not require an alleged ‘conspiracy’ to undo him. He managed his own disqualification and is now engaged in generating his political demise by some very unwise activity.