In an interview to a private TV Channel, a day before the momentous by-election last Sunday in Lahore, Maryam Nawaz said “Nawaz Sharif made several compromises in his four and a half years, which, in my opinion, he should not have done.” Obviously, she referring to the role of military in the 2014 sit-ins, and so called Dawn Leaks scandal that emerged last year and yet having been dumped.As we now know the dharna of 2014 was orchestrated to achieve at least two objectives: civilian government surrendering foreign policy to military, and letting Parvez Musharraf who was facing treason charges leave Pakistan. Both were achieved. After a year in 2015, when Mushahidullah, a federal minister, revealed as to who was orchestrating the PTI and PAT sit-ins against the government, the civilian government had to remove him to appease the displeased military leadership. Likewise, in case of Dawn-Leaks, Maryam is spot on when she says it was a non-issue, a mole turned into a mountain. As a routine, what the newspaper had reported could have simply been rubbished as hearsay and irresponsible journalism by government and military spokespersons and the matter would have settled.In fact, the civilian arm of the government did rubbish the story but the then military leadership had perhaps a very different view. Despite the fact that Nawaz Sharif had to sacrifice two of his closest aides i.e. adviser on foreign affairs Tariq Fatimi and federal minister Parvez Rasheed, the situation took such a nasty turn when the DG ISPR posted a tweet and ‘rejected’ the investigation report that probed the matter.One must look at how isolated Pakistan stands after Trump’s new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, and icing on the cake is the statement from BRICS summit in China early this monthToday, Musharraf is seen dancing in Dubai and London. He was let out of the country on the pretext of back pain illness. He had promised to the court to return as soon as his treatment abroad was over. Now only some gullible may hope of his return. Interestingly, the Dawn-Leak story, where the Foreign Secretary had warned of an imminent diplomatic isolation if Pakistan did not act indiscriminately against the likes of JuD, JeM and Haqqani Network, has also been vindicated. One must look at how isolated Pakistan stands in the Trump’s new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, and icing on the cake is the statement from BRICS summit in China early this month. If it’s not the case, why we did we see so many of frantic meetings of the parliament, civil and military leadership, and the frenzied visits of Foreign Minister to China, Russia, Iran and Turkey?In matter with judiciary too the PML-N government relied on optimism when the proceeding and process of Judicial Commission on Panama Papers was so terribly lacking the non-partisan conduct. Where in the world does a registrar of a Supreme Court ask for specific officers for investigation in such a hush-hush manner that we found here? Where in the world does a Supreme Court Judge has the liberty to give condescending remarks on the Speaker of the National Assembly? How can a Judge pressurise officials of National Accountability Bureau, as is reported in media, to put up a review petition for a case closed years ago? Instead of taking these outright deviations at judicial council, PML-N led by Nawaz Sharif opted for policy of appeasement, albeit, without getting any fairness from those appeased. Storm that had peaked on July 28 isn’t yet over for PML-N. If our political past is of any help then it seems even the current regime will not be tolerated till March 2018 when Senate elections are due. Appeasement hasn’t worked in the past, and seemingly won’t work ever. The party must gear up for a decisive battle; it may be unprecedented and pricy for the party but PMLN having mandate of majority is duty-bound to fight for people’s right to govern themselves. Maryam’s adversaries won’t like but she has a charisma and potential to play beyond appeasement and turn the party into a daunting force. The way she ran a successful campaign for by-polls in Lahore speaks volumes of her capacities and vision.It must not go unnoticed that following Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, if it wasn’t for her advice to her father to fashion his return from Islamabad to Lahore into a political march via GT road, Nawaz could not have found that defiant energy which was all around when he eventually reached Lahore after three days of journey. Incidentally, the electoral victory of PML-N in Lahore last Sunday despite all machinations of visible and invisible rivals has a message too for the party: principled defiance will earn you glory! The writer is a sociologist with interest in history and politics. He tweets at @ZulfiRao1and is accessible at Zulfirao@yahoo.com Published in Daily Times, September 21st 2017.