19 April, 2021

A Heaving, Primeval State Again

The SC’s hasty removal of Nawaz Sharif robs a chance to truly nail him. With a canny establishment planning its moves, Pakistan may return to political chaos.

Not Their PM
PPP supporters in Lahore burn posters of Nawaz Sharif in a protest march against ‘Panamagate’
A Heaving, Primeval State Again

As the news of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal on corruption charges splashed through the media, some may have thought that the country made significant strides towards solving the pro­blem of financial mismanagement and pilf­­e­rage of resources. Indeed, corruption is a global issue that has certainly left its marks on the politics of all South Asian states. So, finding a solution is a major achievement with long-term implications.

However, glancing through the judgment, it seems like a game of snakes and ladders—right when the people of Pakistan thought they were speeding towards the finish line, a snakebite pushed them back several steps. Despite organising a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that was given at least two months to tender a report to the Supreme Court on the money Sharif took, the highest court could only bring itself to disqualify Sharif on money he did not take—the main reason given was his work permit for the UAE, which he had declared in his 2013 pre-election statement, in which he was shown as...

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