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Trouble In PMLN Paradise

A recent high level meeting chaired by the PM took place in the premier’s favorite hill station of Murree. The absence of certain key players hints towards changing tides across the spectrum of power as far as the federal government is concerned but one should never be too hopeful since only a part of the tale is unfolded to the masses.

Consider a constitutionally autonomous organization, the National Accountability Bureau. On paper, no politician can influence the proceedings of this organization and the Chairman takes orders from no one but time and time again we see certain federal ministers intervening in the affairs of this body, which aims to eliminate corruption in Pakistan. While the finance minister and the interior minister are the most frequent visitors to NAB headquarters, it is still hard to guess where all the trouble in PMLN paradise began.

A certain Ex-MNA from Faisalabad who also happens to be the father of the State Minister for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali has been ‘Nabbed’ by his very own government. In the words of this honorable institution, ‘The case of Ch. Sher Ali ex-MNA/Mayor of Municipal Corporation, Faisalabad speaks volumes about misuse of public office, criminal breach of trust in running the affairs of a public office and multiplication of assets as mayor of Municipal Corporation. ‘ The report further goes on to state that the Mr Sher Ali has accumulated assets of 543.98 million through corrupt practices and is fined 100 million and sentenced to 5 years RI. This report is publicly available on NAB’s website and can be accessed by any citizen of this great nation. It is not easy to speculate which particular lobby from the ruling party made sure that this report became public but when one studies the relationships between different power houses of this party, one comes to the conclusion that certain big wigs are not particularly very fond of each other.


Why is it that convicts from NAB make the best federal ministers. It is not very hard to guess why.

While the father of a State Minister might not be a very big fish, it does tell us volumes about the values of our cabinet members. I have often thought why our country faces crisis like the recent petrol crisis and the electricity crisis. I am left with two options, either our ministers are corrupt or incompetent. Perhaps they are both which is why it is alleged that the PM’s brother along with the interior minister have had enough of certain cabinet members.

PMLN consists of various lobbies and each has its own unique influence on the Sharif brothers. Ishaq Dar, who is also now a family member of Nawaz Sharif enjoys a particularly close relationship with the PM as well as his daughter. He also enjoys the loyalty of the IT minister Anusha Rehman. Chaudry Nisar, the Interior minister is also particularly close to the CM of Punjab and has significant clout on a great number of party members. KhawajaAsif, the minister for Water and Power is not very fond of the minister discussed earlier and thus finds the interference of the minister as well as the Punjab government troublesome. Just last year, there were rumors circulating that there was a rift between the Interior Minister and the PM. While the rumors cannot be ascertained, it is true that Chaudry Nisar did not come to Parliament for quite some time. With this level of internal politics and strife going on in the ruling party, it is not hard to guess why our ministers have not been able to conduct the basic duties of their ministries.

The PM however only takes notice when things get out of hand. When the media has sensationalized the issue and the people are about to come on the streets. Perhaps he is tired of being the arbitrator of his ministers’ conflicts and is worried about more important things. This perhaps shows us that the PM does not enjoy the influence he thought he did as some, thought to be particularly close to him are not necessarily doing his bidding.

The former Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Khawaja Muhammad Sharif has been quite busy these days. It seems that he has found his place in the happenings of Pakistani politics even after his retirement. When he announced that he would be Mumtaz Qadri’s defence counsel four years back, it made sense as the Punjab Government of the Sharif family needed leverage with the federal government of PPP. Staying true to his word, Khawaja Sharif went on to Islamabad High Court yesterday accompanied by hundreds of fellow lawyers in order to defend the assassin of former Governor Salman Taseer. One is forced to think how this move might aid the Sharif Family but one reaches to no conclusions. While military courts are being set up and the PMLN is trying to eradicate extremism from the country, how can one of their supreme loyalists take such a political stand? The Mumtaz Qadri case is as political as it is judicial and Khawaja Sharif as defence counsel sends a message to the people involved in this grand affair.

I would argue that it is not by the Prime Minister’s choice that his close friend is defending the most famous murderer of Pakistan. Perhaps the PM does not enjoy the influence he used to and other right wing lobbies are busy playing their own games. Needless to say, Nawaz Sharif has to make tough decisions on many issues but is he ready to take on the people who are a hindrance towards Pakistan’s survival? Only time can tell but today, things do not look hopeful.

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