Panama verdict: Day 2

Panama verdict: Day 2

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan ousted Pakistan’s Prime Minister (former) Nawaz Sharif pertaining allegations of money laundering in Panama Papers case on Friday, also ordering references against his family in accountability court.

As we step into Day 2 of SC’s historic verdict, the storm that rocked the very foundations of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), still has not subsided. Dense gloomy clouds still loom over prime minister house, if he still resides there. But more specifically, over Jati Umra’s Raiwand palace, hinting that there is more to come.

The weather across rest of the country remains scorching and mildly overcast, swinging to and fro at times, but for the opposing political parties, there is nothing more pleasant than today, tomorrow or this week.

After SC’s decision on Friday, spokespersons and leaders from prominent political parties held press conferences and gave their insights, stating that their parties enclose quite a few worthy candidates for the premiership. Much like jackals (figure of speech) attacking a wounded lion, or rather a tiger in this case.

Here is a summary of all that happened subsequent to the SC announcement.

PML-N’s fragile defence attempt

The press conference, representing PML-N’s rhetoric was held by Barrister Zafarullah, Ahsan Iqbal, Saad Rafique, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Zaid Hamid.

The conference saw constant verbal attacks against PTI chairman Imran Khan with Saad Rafique calling the 1992 world-cup-winning captain nothing but a mere “pawn”.

Ahsan Iqbal said that PML-N supporters should be proud of their leader, who has gone through rough times throughout his political career, and still stands out.

"The supporters of PML-N should be proud of their leader, as no one has undergone as much scrutiny as Nawaz Sharif and yet nothing was proven against him except that he could have received money from his son but did not," said Iqbal.

Shahid Khaqan Abbassi also rejected the SC decision: "History will not accept the decision."

Imran Khan: Pakistan has won today

The orchestrator of Nawaz’s demise, Khan, said that there’s nothing personal between him and his fallen political foe, adding that he will stand against any force that goes against the country’s prosperity.

"I have no personal agenda against Nawaz Sharif; I have known his family for 40 years, he did not take anything of mine, he had done wrong to the people of this country and that was why we wanted him to be held accountable."

It was Khan who took it to the streets and promised to continue his infamous Dharnas until justice is served. He proposed to lock down the national’s capital in October 2016, after which the SC intervened and took matters into its own hands. Khan might or might not have influenced SC’s intervention, but his perseverance sure lead to Sharif family’s downfall.

"I hope and pray that this win brings the nation together and we are able to save Pakistan, and turn it into the country Allama Iqbal dreamed of and Quaid-e-Azam would be proud of," Khan concluded.

PPP to field a PM candidate

Jackals? (figure of speech).

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, talking to a press conference, said that PPP will field a candidate in the election for a new prime minister against the PML-N’s nominee after consultation with other opposition parties.

He added that his late mother and former PM of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, had predicted Nawaz’s downfall.

“Nawaz Sharif may succeed in conspiring against me, but one day he will cry. He will remember me and my father,” Bilawal quoted his mother.

Bilawal also stated that the verdict was purely based on democracy, and called it a victory of not a particular person, but the entire nation.

Who takes the premiership?

Despite the fact that opposition parties would feel grateful to announce a candidate for premiership, or rather have one instated; it remains highly unlikely that the seat goes to anyone other than a PML-N faithful.

Here are possible few options:

Shahbaz Sharif: Nawaz Sharif’s brother and current Punjab chief minister. Sharif replacing Sharif, perfect!

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq: Speaker of the lower house of parliament and a close friend and ally of Nawaz Sharif.

Maryam Sharif: Daughter of Nawaz Sharif and a direct political successor. Accused of owning offshore companies and property herself, this would not be a wise move.

Ahsan Iqbal: PML-N’s prominent figures, former minister planning and developing and one of the leading figures in CPEC implementation.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan: Nawaz Sharif’s closest ally, affirming his support to the former PM through thick and thin, and despite their relationship being in hot waters in recent weeks, this could make ends meet.

Over the course of next six months, Sharif family will appear before the accountability court and try to prove their innocence and if they fail to do so, things might get worse.

For Pakistan, however, the downfall of Nawaz Sharif is just the starting point (hopefully) to a marathon against corruption throughout the country.