Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, poses for a picture with a supporter at a rally in Lahore, on September 9, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Drazen Jorgic
Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, poses for a picture with a supporter at a rally in Lahore, on September 9, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Drazen Jorgic

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif is fighting for his life as his health is deteriorating even after being admitted to the Services Hospital in Lahore. Sharif’s platelet count has fallen to a life-threatening level and despite being treated in the hospital, it is not improving.

It was always expected that Sharif would pay the heaviest cost for not bowing down to the invisible forces that run state affairs through puppet regimes. Sharif’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan has been writing to the authorities about his patient’s deteriorating condition over the past week, but no one took him seriously until Sharif was faced with a risk of losing his life.

Sharif still is in hospital and now the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and the security establishment have gone on the back foot, as they now realize that if anything happens to Sharif it will result in chaos in the country. Former finance minister Ishaq Dar, a stalwart in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), speaking to this correspondent from London, said: “It is the irresponsibility and mishandling of the current government that has resulted in a life-threatening situation for Sharif. He is clinically in a very critical situation.”

Dar said Sharif should be provided the best medical treatment available, whether in Pakistan or abroad, at the earliest. He said the adventurism and political drama staged by the invisible forces had not only put Sharif in a life-threatening position but had pushed Pakistan to the brink of an abyss.

Sharif is not the first elected prime minister to be humiliated and put in mortal danger by the invisible forces and their collaborators. From the suspicious death of Fatimah Jinnah, sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the murder of Benazir Bhutto, it has been elected leaders who have been targeted for challenging the exploitative political and social order created and dictated by the invisible forces of the country. However, Sharif is the first popular leader not only to show defiance but actually to weaken the hold of the establishment in the province of Punjab. This is why he is critically ill while his daughter Maryam Nawaz is behind bars.

From General Ayub Khan, who imposed the first martial law in the country, to General Yahya Khan, who was the main culprit in the fall of East Pakistan, to the absconder Musharraf, every single dictator has remained above the law

On the other hand the dictator Pervez Musharraf, who is facing charges of treason, is roaming freely in foreign countries and the weak judicial system seems helpless in bringing him to justice. From General Ayub Khan, who imposed the first martial law in the country, to General Yahya Khan, who was the main culprit in the fall of East Pakistan, to the absconder Musharraf, every single dictator has remained above the law. It has always been the popularly elected leaders who, even if they have not been hanged or murdered, have been declared corrupt and traitors through the strong propaganda machinery of the invisible forces.

However, unlike the dictators, Sharif has shown exemplary courage. A senior PML-N leader and close aide of Sharif, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, told this correspondent that “Sharif has refused to go abroad and has clearly indicated to the powerful quarters that he will not go abroad for treatment and that his case will be decided by history.” This is extraordinary resilience shown by a civilian leader who actually believes in democratic supremacy and shows that despite the deep state’s propaganda, elected leaders are battling valiantly to defy all the odds. The inhumane treatment given to Sharif has angered the PML-N vote bank and it can be seen everywhere, from the small tea stalls to the restaurants to the drawing rooms, where the topic of discussion remains his defiance and the future of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the establishment.

However, in Maryam’s absence, Sharif’s own party is proving toothless, as its current leadership has neither the ability to pull in the crowds nor the courage to walk on the dangerous path of resistance, as Sharif and Maryam did. In fact, Sharif has been approached by his brother Shahbaz and other party members on going abroad for treatment. The Islamabad High Court is hearing an appeal filed by Shahbaz Sharif to suspend his older brother’s sentence on medical grounds and the urgency of the court taking up this matter indicates that both the establishment and the current regime are looking for damage control, and if something happens to Sharif, they want to create a perception that they did everything to provide medical treatment to him.

A thrice-elected prime minister was jailed through a controversial judicial decision only to punish him for not taking dictation from the establishment. This is perhaps the lowest any fascist government or establishment can stoop, and perhaps they forgot that if anything happens to Sharif it will eventually weaken the federation. As long as Maryam is there, no matter how weak the PML-N second-tier leadership is, the establishment will find it very hard to stop her from winning this battle, as like her father, she has the guts to pull in massive crowds on the street and she has the courage to take on the establishment.

The political situation is not normal in Pakistan, as is being portrayed through the controlled media. Sharif’s critical situation, Fazal-ur-Rehman’s planned protest march on Islamabad, and the suddenly speeded-up proceedings of the foreign funding case against the PTI by the Election Commission of Pakistan, are indications that winds of change are blowing. If the insiders are correct, probably in November or December Khan will be asked to resign by the invisible forces or a no-confidence motion will be tabled against him in parliament.

The question arises, however, whether Sharif and Maryam took this path of immense danger and risk only to change the face of the pawn of the establishment or if they started this battle to oust the establishment from the power chessboard altogether. The answer is clear that neither Sharif nor Maryam is interested in just changing the face and lending their party support to bring in another puppet.

The divisions within Sharif’s PML-N and among the establishment make it very clear that it remains to be seen whether PML-N will suffer as a result of this division or the establishment will lose because of the divisions within its ranks. Khan since Day 1 remains irrelevant, a non-entity as far as this battle for democratic supremacy is concerned.

As of now, Sharif is defying every oppressive move of the establishment by putting his life at risk and not being willing to go abroad, as sources have confirmed that the government is trying its best to persuade him through different channels to go to London for treatment. The High Court hearing on his brother’s plea for immediate bail for Sharif on medical grounds has been adjourned until Tuesday. On Thursday, the court seemed in a hurry to announce a verdict on Friday, but after Sharif rejected every offer and pressure to go abroad for treatment the court as usual found it better to delay its decision.

However, it does not matter whether Sharif in this critical situation remains in the country or opts to go abroad for medical treatment, as the mess created by the invisible forces to deny him electoral victory and to impose Khan as a result of a rigged political discourse is not going to be cleared easily.

Even in a critical life-threatening situation, lying on a hospital bed, Sharif has registered his name on the list of politicians who stood against the establishment without fearing the consequences, while sitting on the throne granted by the establishment, Khan has chosen a course to being thrown eventually in the dustbin of the history like Asghar Khan.

Meanwhile the establishment has only added one more reminder to the generations to come of how an elected prime minister was deliberately sent to the verge of death only to satisfy the establishment’s ego. It is evident that history always remembers the brave and disowns the tyrant.

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