PML-N leaders celebrate SC verdict. PHOTO: TWITTER

Why are you celebrating, Nawaz Sharif? It’s not over as yet!

Do the honourable thing and just resign, or you will come to a disgraceful end, like Ayub Khan and Zulfikar Bhutto did

Shakir Lakhani 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.
Shakir Lakhani 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 (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Ahmar | 7 years ago | Reply The establishment doesn't impose martial laws every few years in a civilised country. Candidates running for the office don't get murdered by radical groups and security agencies in a civilised country. The military doesn't run foreign office and housing schemes in a civilised country. No member of the assembly is Sadiq and Ameen based on the loose wording of article 62. Nothing was proven regarding Panama papers and the opposition case was that Nawaz sharif should be disqualified because he lied on the floor of assembly, not because of evidence over corruption. Pakistan will never have a stable democracy if you start disqualifying Ministers on the basis of mere technicalities.
Shakir Lakhani | 7 years ago | Reply "The reality is that the Pakistani economy is doing well after a long time". Really? Prices have steadily gone up, the country's external debt is at an all-time high, foreign exchange reserves are lower, and you say the economy is doing well? As for "elections in 2018 and see what the public thinks by their votes", if Nawaz resigns, his party will break up into different factions, and the public will vote for anyone they think is honest.
stevenson | 7 years ago The debt is up since major spending and development is being undertaken in infrastructure projects. This is the case in many countries where major investments are made in long term planning as is being currently done to set the grounds for a more robust economy. That's why most Western countries carry colossal debts that are shouldered while the economy continues. Ask yourself why all independent Western financial analysts have upgrade Pakistan's economy from that of a developing nation to a middle income nation. Why is the feed back from respected sources such as Bloomberg's in New York or the Economist in London optimistic on Pakistan's economy? While you are at it read about the assessments of Standard and Poor's, Moodys, Finches or countless others who are all upbeat on Pakistan's economic transformation. If you disagree with all the Western economic analysts, make sure to tell them that they are all wrong and that you sitting in Pakistan know more than all of them in terms of economics!
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