Why are you celebrating, Nawaz Sharif? It’s not over as yet!
By Shakir Lakhani Published: April 20, 2017

The long wait is finally over. The honorable judges have announced the verdict in the Panama Leaks case, and the overjoyed followers of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are distributing sweets under the assumption that their leader has been exonerated and declared innocent of any wrongdoing.

Dear Nawaz Sharif, they are wrong. It was a split verdict, and you escaped by the skin of your teeth. Two out of the five judges ruled that you should be disqualified, because you are not “sadiq” (honest) and “ameen” (upright) as required by the Constitution. The other three judges stated that further investigation is required and ordered for a judicial investigation team (JIT) to ascertain how money was sent by your family from Pakistan to Qatar, which ultimately resulted in the purchase of the London flats by your sons.
So then why are you celebrating, Mr Nawaz? Don’t you realise that your submissions to the honourable court have not been accepted, and you have not been declared completely innocent as yet? Three judges have been very polite, saying that there is not enough evidence yet to prove you guilty, and have given you time to produce credible information which could exonerate you. But it is doubtful if you’ll be able to do it, because if you did indeed have any such evidence, you would have produced it in court by now.

Do you know what a decent, upright man in a civilised country would have done if he’d been implicated in a corruption case? He would immediately have resigned until proven innocent. The prime minister of Iceland was one of those named as having an offshore company, and he had to resign. But you, of course, did not do so, thinking that you could buy your way out of trouble.

Right from the start, when the Panama Leaks surfaced about a year ago, you have tried your best to deflect people’s attention from the issue. You did not speak the truth in the National Assembly where you did not mention anything about your family’s involvement with the Qatar prince, you hemmed and hawed and said that your family had been victimised by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, as if that gave you the right to loot the people.

The nation has had enough, Mr Nawaz. The poor, toiling masses of course have no idea what Panamagate is, they are too concerned with trying to survive. But those who pay taxes are bitter at the fact that it was their money which has gone into making you and other politicians filthily rich. You have lost the high moral ground which makes you think that just because your party keeps winning by-elections, the people love you.
And I’m not the only one who thinks you should resign; even Imran Khan and Asif Ali Zardari are saying the same thing. According to Zardari,
“Today the nation has been deceived…On what grounds is PML-N celebrating and distributing sweets? Are they celebrating that two senior judges called for the prime minister’s disqualification?”

Don’t be selfish, Mr Nawaz. If you are not flexible enough and are determined not to let go, remember what happened to the obstinate Bhutto, whose intransigence first dismembered this country and then cost him his life. Please think of the country, which is in danger of sliding into a civil war if you are determined to cling to power, despite what the judges said today.
So do the honourable thing, Mr Nawaz. Just resign, move abroad, and live the good life, or you will come to a disgraceful end, like Ayub Khan and Bhutto did. The people of Pakistan have suffered enough, and it is only a matter of time before the spark is ignited and you are forced out of office. You still have a chance to make an honourable exit, do so before matters do not turn out in your favour like they did today.

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (twitter.com/shakirlakhani)