It’s almost two weeks now since the release of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz, from Adiala Jail after spending nearly two months there. Almost everywhere in the country and abroad, people are asking the same question. Why is he silent? Why has Maryam Nawaz not given any statement? Why is Jati Umrah not becoming the centre of PML-N’s politics since its supremo has come back?
Apparently there are three reasons:
One is the obvious void following the demise of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz – which is in every way understandable from a humanly perspective. Nawaz Sharif loved and valued his life-long partner immensely. Kulsoom was a motherly figure to many in the Pakistan Muslim League-N, including their top leadership. So, people are reaching Jati Umrah everyday to pay their respects and offer condolences to the former ruling family for this irreparable loss.
This unnatural resumption of the elder Sharif’s political gatherings/meetings, starting immediately his ‘freedom’ from the jail in the wake of serious corruption cases, may not look good in the ‘optics’ driven political culture of Pakistan. Even his own party, let alone the political opponents, will advise him otherwise. Perhaps Sharif needed a long break before re-fixing his political trajectory – which in an unfavourable scenario may take him to another country.
Secondly is the stance of PML-N regarding general elections. PML-N’s parliamentary party, under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif, has protested vigorously ever since the inauguration of this PTI-led government for the investigation of rigging in the general elections 2018. Fortunately or unfortunately, a parliamentary commission has been made which is set to investigate the irregularities being accused of by PML-N and other opposition parties. Since a commission has been ordered, which Nawaz Sharif himself didn’t do when Imran Khan was protesting the same back in 2013, there is no immediate cause for which Nawaz Sharif himself should come out roaring against.
Thirdly, the government is in its ‘honeymoon’ period right now and almost everyone anti-PTI wants to cut them a slack not because they have any good sentiments towards them, but because they want to give time to them so they can make mistakes. It seems as if they want the government to make mistakes and fail eventually so they can just prove their own narrative of how ‘inexperienced’ the government is. Sadly, the rate on which the government is making mistakes and taking U-turns, it doesn’t seem a long way from there.
For all these reasons, one can see why Nawaz Sharif is not coming out. However, the speculations regarding a ‘deal’ made by Nawaz Sharif to get out of the prison are getting stronger every day. His silence is not helping the scenario, instead, it’s making the whole thing even more shady for the public.
The question still remains, what does this silence mean. Is it the calm before the storm? What consequences this silence will inflict on the upcoming by-elections next month? All of these questions remain un-answered until Nawaz Sharif or Maryam Nawaz come out and say something.