28 July, 2021

Sharif's Fiefdom On Fire

The most worrying part for Sharif is that, by playing her "Sindh card" at a huge anti-Punjab rally, Benazir has send an unmistakable signal to the army: if she is pushed to the wall, she will take no responsibility for the erosion of federa

Sharif's Fiefdom On Fire

IN January this year, Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was bold enough to claim that he would "rule for twenty years". Today, he's not sure whether he will finish the year in one piece. What's going on in Pakistan? Sharif had reason to be confident. The Constitution had been amended to get rid of the President's discretionary powers to dismiss a government and to silence dissent within Parliament. Sharif had fought a pitched battle with the chief justice of the supreme court, Sajjad Ali Shah, and the president, Farooq Leghari, and forced their exit. His younger brother Shahbaz Sharif ruled the roost in Punjab province. His coalition alliances with the Awami National Party (ANP) in the North West Frontier Province, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Sindh and the Balochistan National Party (BNP) in Balochistan remained strong. Sharif was particularly pleased that Benazir Bhutto was on the run, trying to fend off a dozen corruption charges in the courts of Pakistan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, which left her no time for...

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