Ousted PM Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz has filed her nomination papers for the NA 120 by-polls. After Sharif’s disqualification, the ruling party seems to be in a state of uncertainty and confusion. It is clear that the deposed Prime Minister is not ready to trust anyone outside the Sharif family. With PTI’s local leadership carrying out its election campaign for NA 120 rather diligently, the ruling party might have felt the need to choose a strong candidate. And it appears that Nawaz Sharif could not find someone more suitable than his wife.
First Sharif wanted his brother, the Punjab Chief Minister, to contest the by-polls so he could take over the government, and now it’s his wife. The decision showed that there is not a single MNA in the ruling party worthy of being trusted by Nawaz Sharif to fill his seat. It is about time the PML-N realised that such blatant display of nepotism is neither democratic nor improves the party’s crumbling image. This would also give an opportunity to the ruling party’s rivals to come down on the Sharif family in the campaign for the upcoming elections. Nepotism is one of the major issues within the ruling party (and other parties too) that needs to be addressed. During his GT Road rally, Nawaz Sharif has been speaking about the need to protect democracy and ensure rule of law. He needs to start walking the talk by introducing democracy in his own party.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif’s wife Tehmina Durrani has advised the deposed PM to fire his ‘mediocre’ advisers who misled him into going ahead with the GT Road rally. The development further shows that all is certainly not well in the Sharif family. After this clear indication of an internal rift within the family, possibility of political differences between the Sharif brothers cannot be ruled out. Perhaps the selection of Kulsoom Nawaz is in fact a result of these internal cracks.
It is understandable that Mr Sharif feels vulnerable and based on our history fears a party hijack but dynastic politics can hardly be the solution he is looking for. *
Published in Daily Times, August 12th 2017.