Nawaz Sharif has won again. This time it has been a pyrrhic victory though. Like one of the deities of ancient Greeks, he too may be led to his downfall after this victory. And in the coming months, this victory may be known as the event that led to the downfall of the Sharif dynasty. Nawaz Sharif could have easily continued as the de facto Prime Minister, but now he has given his opponents a target to remove him completely. Resistance will come at an ever greater cost. It seems Sharif won’t let go of power but holding on to it won’t be without pain either. Meanwhile, PML-N leaders considered close to him will increase their support and this will encourage him to continue believing that he is indispensable. PML-N faces the danger of being led by a group whose primary asset remains its ability to excel at flattery Nawaz Sharif has set an example of tilting at windmills like Don Quixote, and of launching attacks at imagined threats. In most such cases, the hero is led to humiliation and it seems that Nawaz Sharif may also suffer the same fate. One cannot understand the direction that the PML-N is taking though. It faces the danger of being led by a group whose primary asset remains their ability to excel at flattery. History has shown that flattery leads to rapid downfall that starts when the group has managed to convince the leadership to adopt an erroneous path. Most of the times, it is a path that leads to destruction. The fault is blatantly obvious but the flatterers still succeed in convincing others that their path is the one that points towards victory. Nawaz Sharif has succeeded in getting elected to the office of the Prime Minister three times. He wasn’t able to complete his term in office anytime. Sharif has still been incredibly lucky. On two occasions, he could have faced serious repercussions. These included the episode in which he was tried on hijacking charges following General Pervez Musharraf’s coup. Somehow, General Musharraf had a change of hearts and Sharif was allowed to proceed abroad on exile. Nawaz Sharif has managed to put himself in untoward circumstances time and again. A lesser man would have lost in these ordeals by now. Political leadership anywhere in the world is a difficult affair and multiple mistakes are never allowed. Against this backdrop, Sharif’s track record of having recuperated is nothing short of miraculous. It is amazing that with such a formidable array of opponents, and with his blunders, he has still survived in politics. Perhaps Nawaz Sharif does have a very good fortune, or perhaps his opponents have not been able to outsmart him. This may be true. But it seems that survival in the political domain is becoming increasingly risky and chances of recovery more rare. Even luck can run out. The writer is a senior analyst Published in Daily Times, October 6th 2017.