Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif , the three-time Prime Minister of Pakistan, remains in troubled waters most of the time. He gets out of the hole, but can’t stay out for long. He wins but hardly moves forward. He is a lucky man, but at the same time he is disappointedly unlucky. Or probably he has hard luck when it comes to politics. In business he, by contrast, is the luckiest person on the planet.

He comes to power and is thrown out of it for nothing. May be due to lack of some maturity and Machiavellian wisdom, which a Pakistani politician is supposed to possess.

As Nawaz Sharif assumed charge, his ‘opponents’ start working on their given tasks to throw him out of his office. But this time, unlike the 1990s, Nawaz Sharif didn’t let his opponent go too far and firmly controlled them with the help of his cordial friend and former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. Due credit should also be given to prominent Pakistani politicians including Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman , Asfandyar Wali Khan, Jan Achakzai and an untiring team of veteran Pakistani politicians, under the supervision of  Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, who worked day and night to protect the prime minister and democracy in Pakistan. 

After all that effort and hard work now Nawaz Sharif’s government is comparatively secured and certain to complete its tenure this time.

There are, however, some substantial political reasons to make a claim like ‘Nawaz Sharif is safe now’.

Firstly, Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Nawaz Sharif’s worst nightmare, created so many difficulties for the ruling part and pushed the Prime Minister into hot waters. His days-long sit-in in Islamabad back in 2014, and the recent threats to lock down the federal capital, were well planned political tactics mainly to oust Nawaz Sharif . All Imran Khan wanted was the removal of Nawaz-led government and hold early elections.

The dharnas, however, backfired and created a bad reputation for Imran Khan across the country, and Nawaz Sharif – generally not known for his political maturity– smartly used them as a political justification to cover up his incompetence and all the mess he had created.

But by the end of this year we see Imran, whether willingly or unwillingly, is gone. Now he is not in a position to give a call for one more dharna.

Why?

He simply cannot afford any.

And Nawaz Sharif knows this fact very well. So it gives him a reason to feel politically secure.

Secondly, Army was not directly intervening in the political turmoil and crises, but they were not sleeping either. Some argue that Imran Khan was backed by the all powerful military in 2014 dharna to force Nawaz to bow down to the GHQ so that the institution can regain its lost influence. But factually this observations seems untrue for one very important reason: if Imran Khan was backed by the all powerful army then why did he lose the battle? Does the powerful lose? 

As a matter of fact ‘generals’ were using other means to significantly influence the political process. A complete control over foreign policy with reference to India was clear.

But a sigh of relief for Nawaz Sharif , because Raheel Sharif has gone now. When a strict teacher retires the whole school feels a little relieved. So, it’s time for Nawaz and his companions to feel at peace with the newly-appointed teacher who is probably not like the former.

Apparently, Nawaz Sharif does not feel threatened by the GHQ now. He knows that the person of his own choice is in the driving seat. But he also not forgets about the bitter experiences he has tasted in 1990s.

Thirdly, Imran Khan forgot all about rigging and electoral reforms and chose another track. Panama Papers brought a new thing to talk about, and fight for, in Pakistani politics. Imran Khan was threatening the government of severe consequences if investigation was not done properly. Nawaz Sharif was at the outset a little upset, but with the passage of time he came to know that his ‘friends’ and ‘loyal soldiers’ were there to answer and silence Imran Khan.

In earlier days, the Supreme Court was about to do something unusual, but now it is in its quite normal state. Justice Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice-designated, is not going to follow his predecessor, so Nawaz Sharif should feel at ease.

Interestingly, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has presented his four demands before the government and clearly warned that if the demands are not met, the government must get ready to face a ‘real opposition’. But seemingly the government has decided to agree with Bilawal on three out of the four demands. Therefore, one can assume that Nawaz Sharif is not going to face any real opposition.

We see by the end of 2016 Nawaz Sharif is almost safe from all external existential threats. But internally he needs to think. Very carefully. By internal threats, I definitely mean that he should focus on delivering something to the masses in order to gain people’s legitimacy and may be win the next elections. His primary focus should now be on education, health and environment. This is what Pakistan badly needs rights now.

Publicity oriented projects might be helpful in winning elections, but they are essentially limited to a few cities and do not benefit the people of remote areas. Only Islamabad and Lahore are not the whole of Pakistan.

Now the question is: will Nawaz Sharif be able to deliver something significant and win the next elections? It would be answered only by the prime minster, but through his actions. 

In the end Nawaz Sharif should not forget to thank his loyal friends, and noble companions, who make everything good happen for him.