Sitting behind bars in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, Nawaz Sharif, businessman, politician and former Prime Minister of Pakistan, is fighting the toughest battle of his life against the country’s security establishment, writes Imad Zafar.
But, says Zafar, the same can be said for Pakistan’s establishment, which is facing the most difficult challenges of its 70 years of hegemony.
The Pakistani establishment, which is trying hard to end the country’s diplomatic isolation while facing multiple other challenges – including India’s move to annex Kashmir, a shrinking economy and rampant inflation – wants to cut a deal with Sharif.
Sharif gets released from jail but agrees to then go into exile in London.
But Sharif, writes Zafar, has indicated he intends to stay in Pakistan and instead wants certain members of the establishment and the judiciary to confess publicly that they ousted him from power deliberately and rigged the ballot to keep him out of office.
‘Probably Khan and a few people from the security establishment will come hard at Sharif in a bid to regain the lost battle, but it is too late,’ argues Zafar. ‘If Sharif did not surrender in the toughest of times, he will never do it now when the writing is clearly on the wall that it is all over for Imran Khan and his backers in the establishment.’
Ali Salman Andani says it in far stronger terms. Pakistan, says Andani, after the completion of Imran Khan’s first year in power, 'is standing on the brink of an economic collapse.' And Khan, says Andani, must think that putting 'the entire opposition behind bars will be enough to hide his incompetence, ignorance and highly authoritarian mindset.’
Sagarneel Sinha writes here that Kashmir is an issue that Khan will try to use to ‘boost his own image after his failure to implement the dreams of "Naya Pakistan" (New Pakistan) that he sold before last year’s election.’
Sinha argues that Kashir has been an emotional issue for Pakistanis and ‘their governments over the years have milked this issue to divert the attention of the public from internal issues and turn them against "anti-Muslim Hindu-supremacist India.” The present approach of Imran Khan is no different.’
But despite the emotional rhetoric, Sinha says Imran Khan should already know the truth.
‘India under his friend Modi,’ writes Sinha, ‘has checkmated Pakistan on Kashmir. However, Khan has no other option but to make as much noise as possible on the issue of Kashmir. This, concludes Sinha, is because he ‘doesn’t want to become another Nawaz Sharif.’
Read the full stories on Asia Times
Pakistani establishment facing historic challenge by Imad Zafar
Occupant of Pakistan’s Prime Minister House is a tyrant by Ali Salman Andani
Imran stressing Kashmir to save his own position by Sagarneel Sinha
Michael Rubin | Washington Examiner
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