The Sharif family has gone through a few difficult few years after the Panama Papers surfaced on international media. It was the reason that Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and his son-in-law were put behind bars. Apart from that, the Panama Papers case also took him away from his ailing wife who was combating cancer in London and later succumbed to it on 11 September 2018. Even though Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar were released on parole to attend the funeral but they were not there for Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s last days. Khawaja Haris, Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer had filed a petition in IHC against the suspension of the sentence. The case was finally concluded recently, in which the IHC granted interim bail to Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar. This interim bail was already expected because of two reasons; firstly because of the weak judgment made in the case as believed by the majority of the legal fraternity. Secondly, the statistics show that 80 percent of trail court sentences are suspended in the upper judiciary because of the poor training of the lower judiciary. A similar situation appeared in the Avenfield reference case as well. The truth is that Nawaz’s bail has really shaken the political system, as the media has resumed a debate over mid-term elections. To be honest, the incumbent setup is too weak to bear this polarised environment. The magnitude of bigotry between political parties has touched the skies, especially the role of PML-N and PTI. In retrospect, PTI used all possible tricks to oust the PML-N government. A similar situation may appear for PTI as Nawaz has been released on bail. If we look at the government’s formation in the centre and Punjab, it is totally dependent on coalition partners. Nawaz currently has nothing but the PTI has government in three distinct assemblies. Therefore, they have the coalition partners to lose and which will ultimately result in the collapse of the government. If Imran Khan does not fulfill the points of the MoU signed between PTI and its different allies, it may shake up the current political structure. The reason for highlighting PTI’s allies is because of the ongoing cold tussle between PTI and one of its allies; whilst visiting Karachi for the dam fund, Imran Khan announced to give nationalities to the Afghans and Bengalis born on this soil. Whereas, a MoU signed between PTI and BNP (Mengal) includes a bullet point which stipulates the return of the Afghan refugees. However, the PML-N camp is divided, one of the camps has advised Mian Nawaz Sharif to let the government works itself out, but on the contrary, the hawkish group claims to resume a maneuver against the judiciary, the military and the government because of the momentum it got after the release of Nawaz Sharif. Moreover, there is speculation that in the coming days PPP and PML-N might try to reach an understanding against PTI’s government. The bloc advised Mian Nawaz to monitor its performance, as the expectations leveled from Khan will be laborious to achieve. Moreover, Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto met Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to offer condolence on Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s demise in Jati Umra. According to the media reports, politics were not discussed but back channels were activated between PPP and PTI. Furthermore, Nawaz Sharif proffered the PPP to join the Opposition Alliance. There is speculation that in the coming days PPP and PML-N might try to reach an understanding against PTI’s government. The bloc, advised Mian Nawaz to monitor its performance, as the expectations leveled from Khan will be laborious to achieve PTI officials also claim that in case Nawaz isn’t sentenced, and initiates agitation PTI will deliver its best and announce an early election after a year asking people to vote, as the opposition does not concede to deliver. Nevertheless, PTI will put utilize all its tools to keep Nawaz and Shahbaz buried beneath the cases. As mentioned above, in case PTI loses its allies and there isn’t a confidence motion against Imran Khan then who will be the Prime Minister? Ultimately, the system will head towards an early election despite PPP and PML-N reaching an understanding, but can PPP afford to join hands with PML-N considering its wipe out from Punjab and knowing that PML-N will be its ultimate beneficiary whether PML-N forfeits the Prime Minister-ship. PPP and PML-N might reach an understanding for the sake of presenting a united opposition but floating a coalition government with PML-N is nearly impossible. It is clear that even the ruling party believes the mid-term election theory, scanning the number of seats in the centre and the Punjab. But the multiple variables have to be played for the early election to take place, and one of the variables is Nawaz’s existence on ground and his agitation movement along with other opposition parties. However, in case Nawaz Sharif attempts to malign the judiciary or military then at least PPP will not join their hands and it will eventually backfire like it did before. The mid-term elections depends on PTI’s fulfillment of expectations, but one can’t be too sure of Khan completing his complete 5 years as the PM. However, time will be the better judge. For Imran Khan, the coming months are strenuous. PTI has to deliver and also keep its allies intact. Khan’s government hardly has 3 more months to make its policies clear for the opposition parties and its allies. The writer can be reached at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, October 7th 2018.