Political future of Nawaz Sharif is a question that keeps on perplexing every politically conscious person. Like every politician in our country, Nawaz Sharif wants to stay relevant in politics forever but his future will now largely depend on two things: one, how PML-N reacts to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and second how establishment through accountability courts behaves with him. It is important to look at the social character and structure of Muslim leagues to analyse the possibilities of the future of PML-N and Nawaz Sharif. Muslim League was founded in 1906 to protect the interests of the upper middle classes of Muslims, as is evident from its founding resolutions, and since then all the Muslim Leagues despite taking different shapes and names have always served the interest of rich Muslims. Solution to the problems of poor people has never been on its agenda and that’s why it could never ever have gained popular mass bases. Jinnah never went to jail in his long political career, never believed in the politics of agitation against a foreign oppressor, hardly knew and spoke the language of the people he represented and never tried to make All India Muslim League (AIML) a party of ordinary people. Heavy defeat in the elections of 1937 and huge victory in 1946 elections after the inclusion of feudals and Pirs from Punjab and Sindh tells everything about the politics of AIML. After the creation of Pakistan and the demise of Jinnah, feudals dominating AIML could not reconcile their differences with each other and resultantly splintered into small factions and became insignificant. A new Muslim League (convention) was reincarnated by General Ayub in 1962 and since then every military dictator formed a new Muslim League for political legitimacy but most of these Muslim Leagues survived only until the presence of their founding dictator at the helm of power. Nawaz Sharif was the choice of Zia’s dictatorship and military establishment and they helped him reach the pinnacle of Pakistani politics. Unlike other Muslim leagues, Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League was the only one that continued receiving the support of establishment even after the demise of its founding dictator in 1988. There is no doubt about the fact that two terms in the prime minister office, a large network of pliant individuals in civil bureaucracy and judiciary carefully installed by him first as Punjab chief minister and then prime minister, overt support of military establishment for nearly two decades and a vacuum of leadership for right wing politics helped Nawaz Sharif strengthen his grip over politics in Punjab and building a sort of popular appeal. But the fundamental structure of PML-N is no different than the other Muslim Leagues as it became apparent during Musharraf’s tenure when almost the entire party got converted into PML-Q. Like its predecessors, Nawaz Sharif strongly believes in the politics of electables and religiously practices it, which is why he showed no remorse in receiving back all the electables who ditched him after Musharraf’s coup. His resurgence into politics in 2008 was due to the extreme hatred society felt towards Musharraf and PML-Q and vacuum of right wing leadership on the political horizon. Now when Nawaz Sharif hints at taking a tough course towards the establishment, the social character and structure of PML-N makes it impossible for him. Political resistance requires two basic things; one, the commitment of a large number of people with an ideology and secondly a strong organisational structure. The PML-N lacks both. Political resistance requires two basic things. The commitment of a large number of people with an ideology and, secondly, a strong organisational structure. The PML-N lacks both PML-N has no ideology and is organised around only one principle; power. Retention of power and consolidating more power is the ultimate goal of electables of the ruling party. Therefore, by taking on the real source of power in Pakistan, nexus of establishment and judiciary, Nawaz Sharif erodes the very bases of PML- N. On the other hand, ironically, the ruling party does not have a working organisational structure. It does not have any allied wings like students, youth etc. Some of its organisational branches that exist rarely meet and have little influence over the decisions of the party. Undoubtedly, people came out in good numbers in Nawaz Sharif’s rally after it crossed Jhelum from where areas of electables start on GT road. PML-N has MNAs on both sides of GT road and it is not difficult for a rural constituency based MNA to bring out people from his constituency in thousands, but If he is no longer able to negotiate power within the patronage structure of Pakistan for electables of Punjab, he is of no use for them and they will ditch him as soon as the time comes closes for present government. But one thing above all these things which will actually decide the political fate of Sharifs is the NAB cases, how establishment play their games through the cases and how Nawaz Sharif reacts to these cases. Sharifs are not Bhuttos, who might have other weaknesses but were never short of valour, and are not expected to bravely face the cases and jails. NAB cases are also a litmus test through which it will easily be gauged that how far the establishment wants to go against Nawaz Sharif. At present, options are very limited for Nawaz Sharif as all the cards are in the hands of the other players in the game of Pakistani politics. He has been permanently disqualified and is under the threat of being sent to gaol for many years in NAB cases. Future of his political survival will depend on his decision to negotiate back some space for himself within the powerful establishment of Pakistan, chances of which look very few. Rise and fall of Nawaz Sharif has many lessons for the political parties of Pakistan and if they want to bring any fundamental and positive change in the society, they must quickly learn those lessons. “A graduate in economics and a freelance researcher. My twitter handle is @aatifnazar” Published in Daily Times, September 9th 2017.