Democracy, in its true essence, subject to being provided with a ground to prosper, bestows only the public with the power to make or break the “kings” or in the case of current times: political leaders and parties. This is the reason it is dubbed The King Maker. Political figures in Pakistan have ruled despite all odds against them. Be it corruption, abuse of power, imprisonment, fines, or more. They have until this day, and will continue to, rule the country with the public’s love, support and backing. Other institutions in a democratic state, no matter how respectable and authoritative, can only exert some influence on the politicians’ popularity graph, for it is the public alone that can permanently subside and diminish political influence. With the general elections 2018 round the corner, and the political atmosphere of the country has heated up, the verdict given against the House of Sharif holds pertinent significance, and is expected to have implications on not just the election outcome, but the political future of Sharif family as well. In the presumed historic judgment given by the Accountability Court in the ongoing Avenfield reference filed by NAB against the Sharif family, Justice Mohammad Bashir penned down the verdict sentencing Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison. His daughter Maryam Nawaz was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Her husband, Captain (R) Safdar, was also convicted of not cooperating with NAB, and having been arrested, will be spending a year in prison. Going a step further, the court also fined Nawaz and Maryam £8 million and £2 million pounds, respectively, and ordered the confiscation of the Avenfield properties. One section of our nation, including political analysts and parties, is celebrating the decision, terming it as historic.While the other is lamenting the decision. However, there is an apparent ignorance of the two sides of the judgment’s implications. While the judgment has been given, let us look at the possible hurdles in the way of its implementation. To talk about imprisonment, it sounds like a piece of cake as the Sharif’s have announced their return to Lahore on Friday this month. What is expected though, however, is a massive supporter turnout to welcome the leadership, which not only would be a show of strength for Nawaz, but might also lead to chaos in the provincial capital. But what if the convicted Sharif’s don’t come back? That will be a different situation altogether, as the government will have to engage the Interpol for Sharif’s arrest. And this will only be possible provided the Sharifs do not seek and get asylum from the British government. As far as the confiscation of Avenfield properties is concerned, it seems unlikely, as Hussain/Hassan Nawaz own the properties. The government cannot confiscate property in another country, owned by its citizens, which in this case are Hussain and Hassan. The court, in its verdict, has not convicted them either, leaving the confiscation of the properties a question mark. Let us remind ourselves of the time when sweets were distributed in the streets when Nawaz’s government fell to General Musharraf’s martial law in 1999. A decade down the line, Nawaz struck back, and took local politics by storm through campaigning, and public support It would be interesting to see how the government approaches these challenges, and finds astute ways to implement the court’s decision. The verdict is supposed to mark the Sharif family’s downfall; however, it might end up boosting their political strength, and make way for their comeback in the longer run. But how could that be possible? The answer lies with where the power dwells in democracy, i.e. the public. It is an undeniable fact as suggested by recent polls and surveys conducted that Nawaz still leads the polls in Punjab, the most populated province of Pakistan — and that too by a good majority. Despite all the odds against him, he is likely to take a big bite of the vote bank once again. Imagine if Pakistan Muslim League — Noon (PML-N) can pull off the job in Punjab under the prevailing circumstances, subject to gaining time, rest assured the lion will roar again in the long run, perhaps after five or ten years. Let us remind ourselves of the time when sweets were distributed on the streets of Pakistan amid the fall of the Nawaz government in 1999 via General Musharraf’s martial law. A decade down the line, Nawaz struck back, and took the local politics by storm through campaigning and public support. Timely implications apart, the fact stands that no matter how deep the wound, time is the greatest healer. In democracy, the power lies with the public, and the public, if not all but a good majority, even in the post-verdict scenario, still stands with Nawaz. The writer is an Islamabad-based freelance writer Published in Daily Times, July 11th 2018.