From Go Nawaz Go, the chants have taken on an exultant tone, changing to Gone Nawaz Gone. On Friday morning, after a five member judges panel of the Supreme Court of Pakistan decreed him to be unfit for office.
The disgraced Prime Minister was one year away from completing his term in office. He has held the post twice, he was ousted on corruption charges for the first time and replaced by a military coup by Pervez Musharraf in his second time.
The Panama Papers dump had named the Sharif family with links to offshore companies, allegedly used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, notable amongst these being prime properties in London’s exclusive Mayfair area.
After a unanimous decision by the court where one of the judges, Ejaz Afzal Khan said that Nawaz Sharif was no longer “ eligible to be an honest member of the parliament,” the Prime Minister was advised by his Interior Minister to accept the verdict. Sharif resigned soon after the verdict, while registering his ‘serious reservations’ about the judicial process.
The Sharif family had been embroiled in the case for quite some time, and the country waited with bated breath for the SC judgement.
It is relevant to note that while the mood on urban streets was that of jubilation, with people congratulating each other, taking to the streets in joy and distributing sweets, Sharif’s stronghold, particularly in rural Punjab remains his. There have been reports of PML (N) supporters coming out on streets to protest the verdict. His daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, an active twitter user, has taken to the micro-blogging site, asserting that his father will return to power soon.
Whether this happens, or the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf, the party founded by former cricket hero Imran Khan, can actually realize its dream for a “New Pakistan” and come to power to break the spell of Bhutto-Sharif rules, only time will tell.