Nawaz Finally Got The Relief From The Court. Does That Mean Problem For Zardari?
In Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif’s plea for removal of his name from Exit Control List (ECL) was granted. On the same day, PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif was given conditional bail on medical grounds for 6 weeks from the Supreme Court. Three-member bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Asif Saeed Khosa announced the verdict directing elder Sharif to deposit two surety bonds worth Rs5 million. PML-N rejoiced the decisions. On the contrary, government supporters feared that Nawaz might be let out of the country.
Nawaz verdict was announced by the Honorable Chief Justice who wrote an inflexible verdict against him in April 2017 in the Panama case.
CJ Asif Saeed Khosa was one of the two judges who didn’t recommend constituting JIT for further probe against Nawaz in Panama Case and had disqualified him on the basis of the case hearing. In the past few years, Panama Leaks have been a test case for the state. The court that wasn’t ready to delay the Avenfield reference hearing when Kulsoom Nawaz’s health was fast deteriorating, has now approved Nawaz Sharif’s bail on medical grounds.
There are a few essential questions that need to be addressed following the bail; what interpretation of law allows the apex court to grant bail on medical grounds; secondly, what is the point of granting bail if Nawaz’s name isn’t removed from ECL and nursing is to be done in Pakistan?
Does the bail mean Nawaz Sharif’s departure to London before the six weeks’ time comes to end? Time will be a better judge. However, if Nawaz wants to be treated in Pakistan, PM Imran Khan has already assured the family of complete assistance by the government.
Considering Nawaz Sharif’s fragile health condition, SC shouldn’t have attached any conditions to the bail. If the bail was to be granted then he must also have been allowed to go abroad with assurances of returning back to Pakistan.
Nawaz has to travel abroad for the medical treatment and government will try its best not to remove his name from ECL. The unclear decision may start another round of bickering between the government and PML-N. The ball may very go back into SC’s court afterwards.
Besides, if we look at the conditions under which Nawaz was granted bail, it seems Shehbaz Sharif’s argument has prevailed in the party. On the other hand, PPP is walking a tight rope and Bilawal’s recent speeches are clear hints. Bilawal has been playing with fire lately.
He has made it clear that PPP will not pass military court extension bill ‘come what may’. Ostensibly, junior Bhutto is trying his best to save Zardari and Faryal Talpur in the ‘fake bank accounts case’. Rumours however have it that both the father and the aunt will be behind the bars by the end of the spring season.
With a lot on stake, the assessment is that if both the major opposition parties are simultaneously tried under corruption charges, it may stir a mass movement against a weak government. Let’s not forget that PTI has a very slim majority in the assembly.
That is why it’s significant to keep at least one major stakeholder neutralized. Right after the elections, PPP was given some assurances and it had let the PTI form the government without much of a hassle. Now, it might well be PPP leadership’s time to face the brunt.
The author writes for various Pakistani news websites.