For establishment, the problem, in the current political scenario, is Nawaz Sharif, not the PML- N. Why does the Establishment want to cast off Nawaz Sharif? Before being brought to power. has Imran Khan not opposed, humiliated and abused establishment and Generals several times on public platforms? Despite of Imran Khan’s ill views about military establishment, his conducts were ignored and he was brought to power. Then why is establishment not ready to pardon Nawaz Sharif? Has Imran Khan not damaged, humiliated and defamed institutions more than Nawaz Sharif? Can visionless and confused Imran Khan serve the country better? Is Pakistan not struggling on every front more than ever? It is an admitted fact that political parties are brought to power if they have a clear equation with military establishment. The difference between Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif is very clear. Imran Khan complied with the role of military establishment in politics, after coming to power, whereas, Nawaz Sharif tried to limit the undue involvement of military establishment in politics of Pakistan. Imran Khan is happy of being puppet Prime Minister while Nawaz Sharif always has been trying to assert his constitutional political powers as Prime Minister. Should all the components of the State not function smoothly within the constitutional framework determined in the constitution? Today Pakistan is facing serious challenges on national and international fronts. As a divided nation, are we in the position to put the country on the right track? The establishment’s plan of getting rid of Nawaz Sharif from PML-N has seriously started working. There have been discussions about the “PML – S” during the last few years, within the establishment. Shahbaz Sharif has continuously been provoked to take over the control of the PML-N. Nawaz Sharif wants to announce Maryam as his successor. Will the PML-N and the establishment agree to that decision? Anyhow, the vote bank is with Nawaz Sharif, and not Shahbaz. Crowd pulling charisma remains with father and the daughter. The Establishment wants Nawaz Sharif to hand over the party leadership to Shahbaz for his good record as chief minister. During the 1980s, after propping up Nawaz Sharif, why has the establishment turned against him? Nawaz was an asset for the establishment at that time to counter the influence of Benazir Bhutto. He remained so until the mid-1990s. The 1997 election changed the game with the PML-N winning 135 seats. This victory margin made Nawaz believe that he had become invincible in Pakistani politics. An ugly tussle with the judiciary and the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat made Nawaz believe he has become the Iron Man of Pakistan, leading him to dismiss the next Army Chief Musharraf. Since then, the establishment learnt the lesson and decided to bring hung parliaments next. The establishment could not take any chance further. By that time, the Sharifs had also built a huge business empire stretching from Lahore to London. Consequently, Nawaz Sharif turned into a liability for the establishment. In 1999, the coup and exile followed. Ever since, Sharif’s relations with the establishment are strained. In 2013, Nawaz Sharif became the PM for the third time, while Shahbaz Sharif silently continued his work as CM Punjab. Though the Establishment was not happy to see Nawaz back in power, it worked with him. In 2014, Establishment tried to use Imran Khan against Nawaz and overthrow his government, but the PML-N somehow managed to complete the term amid Panama Scandal. The CPEC, added another dimension to the fault line between the Establishment and Nawaz Sharif. Both wanted to control CPEC; the former saw it as a strategic project linking Gwadar with Kashgar and Beijing, while the latter saw as a huge economic opportunity for Punjab, and also for his own business empire. Today, there is enough evidence to prove that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had an “agenda” and was driven against Nawaz Sharif. Even mainstream media questioned the judiciary’s verdict in disqualifying Nawaz. The writing was clear. Neither Nawaz Sharif nor the Establishment have learnt. Both are still playing with the fire. The Establishment wants Nawaz Sharif to hand over the party leadership to Shahbaz for his good record as the Chief Minister, but Nawaz Sharif tends to announce Mariyam as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the forthcoming election. The majority in the party is not against Maryam. Those who see Nawaz as a liability realize that they can leave the party and create another faction of the PML-N, because they have seen the fate of the PML-Q under the Chaudhrys. For establishment, the best bet would be the PML-S, not PML-N. On the other hand, the establishment believes that IK would not be acceptable to a majority within Punjab. Khan’s performance has been pathetic during last three years. Establishment is sure that IK would not be able to form a government in 2023 election. What is next for Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif now? A difficult question indeed. Nawaz’s position is clear so far. Shahbaz is in alignment with Nawaz Sharif, but what if he is forced to choose between his brother and the Premiership? I believe that Shahbaz will definitely stand with his brother, won’t let the party sink, and would keep Nawaz Sharif as the captain of the ship. To my understanding Shahbaz will reach an understanding silently, with Nawaz Sharif and Maryam to replace Imran Khan. If both the Nawaz and Maryam keep silent for some time and let Shahbaz replace Imran, it will work for the Establishment, PML-N and the country. It will be an ideal option if Nawaz lets Shahbaz continue as the leader, until all the cases are addressed and Premiership is achieved. The PML-N is acceptable, if Nawaz is replaced with Shahbaz. It would finish the intra-party tussle within PML-N. This way the party will remain intact and situation will not galvanize into a coup, not only within the party, but also within the family, and not lead to the creation of another PML-S. The writer is an ambassador, columnist, political analyst and author of several.