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Supreme Court: Nawaz Sharif Can Return to Pakistan

Posted on August 23, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Politics
Total Views: 34789


Adil Najam

In yet another historic decision, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has decided that former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, exiled by Gen. Musharaf, can return to Pakistan. According to The News:

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in a landmark verdict on constitutional petitions of Mian Nawaz Sharif and his brother Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Thursday announced that Sharif Brothers are Pakistanis and can return home and participate in the national politics. The seven-member larger bench of the apex court, led by Chief Justice Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in a brief judgment said that under Article-15 of the constitution, the petitioners are citizens of Pakistan and therefore their petition is hearable. According to the Supreme Court’s decision, under Article 3 of the constitution no citizen of the country can be kept outside the country and cannot be stopped from his or her return to home.

The document presented by the government on previous day has no constitutional position. Senior lawyer Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim appeared before the court in the case on behalf of Sharif Brothers. Attorney-General Malik Qayyum, Ahmed Raza Kasuri and Ibrahim Satti were the counsels of the federation. Reacting on the decision, Hamza Shahbaz, son of Nawaz Sharif, talking with Geo News said that the Supreme Court’s decision is the victory of Nawaz Sharif’s eight-year stand. During these eight years, Sharif Brothers have spent very hard time. He said that this decision is not the victory of any individual but of Pakistan.
The Pakistan Muslim League (N) has welcomed the verdict announced by the larger bench of the Supreme Court. Leader of party Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that a delegation of his party would soon go to London to determine the procedure of the Sharif Brothers’ returning home. Immediate after the decision, people seemed very enthusiast outside the Supreme Court and thousands of PML (N) workers chanted slogans.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has, once again, rendered a decision that has not just created a buzz but effectively changed the entire political landscape of Pakistan. The big news here is the potential return of Nawaz Sharif but the continuing big news is that the institutional reincarnation of the Supreme Court of Pakistan which has become which has effectively become what it was meant to be. The final arbiter of constitutional sheninigans by political forces.

This means that unless extraordinary measures are taken by the government, we could be set for a real political showdown in the next elections. What this does to PML(Q) – or for that matter to PML (N) as well as other parties – is to be seen. But heads will already be spinning about which karwatt this oont will eventually settle.

It is also interesting that while all the deal-talk went on between Benazir Bhutto and Pervaiz Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif’s political capital might actually have been expanding. Even if he had stuck to principal just because he could not do otherwise, there are many who have actually found his stand to be ‘principled’ and it is likely that between that and this decision, his political capital has in fact increased… at least in the short term. What remains to be seen is whether he and his party will be able to politically capitalize on this; and how.

128 comments posted

Comment Pages: « 16 15 14 13 [12] 11 10 9 8 7 61 » Show All

  1. PatExpat says:
    August 26th, 2007 2:50 am

    none taken

  2. Babar says:
    August 25th, 2007 6:33 pm

    @patexpat In no way I meant to cast any reflections on your education. And I do not think people need high education for awareness of politics. Infact I beleive “jis tan lage , woh bas jane”and thats what I meant when I said you wouldnt understand, and that is why I dont need to convey it to the majority of population. They know better. Its a different thing to wish for prosperity of ones country and a different thing to struggle for smallest things in life. First one applies to almost all of us here, second one does not to most of us.

    Anyways, I seriously beg your pardon for any personal offense on my part.

  3. PatExpat says:
    August 25th, 2007 2:48 pm


    Not to make this a personal issue but I used to consider myself reasonably educated if not highly. If I , again with a reasonably open mind, can’t get what you are trying to say, how do you expect to explain it to the majority of the population. Or you don’t think it matters what they think since they are illiterate or semi-literate.

    I am not advocating you voting for JI, god forbid. But at least it has a democratic culture within it which you find lacking in other progressive parties.

  4. Babar says:
    August 25th, 2007 2:06 pm

    @ patexpat I was talking about the so called democratic party of USA . Incidently democracy itself is not an issue in US. And I know JI inside and out . I would personaly rather go and join mazdoor kisan party, but as it is they have remotest hope of power. But dont bother, you wouldnt get what I am advocating here. BTW NS is quite benevolant in his personal alms giving to poor school building etc. So I think he is the right choice for us.

  5. Kruman says:
    August 25th, 2007 1:40 pm

    The following is a good group for following Pakistani politics and developments:

  6. Syed Hafeez Imran says:
    August 25th, 2007 9:49 am


    I did not in any case imply that all other politicians are white as snow and angels.

    We also have the OTHER option of the Sussex lady, which is in most ways even worse.

    That supports my question of “Are we ready for and deserve democracy”. When the masses have no inkling of the issues, the parties have no accountability and democracy in their own ranks, when how one votes is IMPOSED by the ujagirdar, chowdry or Malik. Why dont they serve the people even when they are not in power. There are umpteen ways they can do that, build schools, provide clean drinking water, open hospitals and treat the sick. It is already being done by some Pakistanis on a personal and private basis. Why claim that they will fix all problems and make Pakistan a land opf milk and honey but ONL when they come to pwer. Yes, they will do that, for themselves!

    Why is it that they have to be the lords and masters and treat the country as their private estate and the leadership as a hereditary right. WHY can there be not someonme else from their party to be a canduiidate for the top slot (I will tell you why, because they want power and the means to amass wealth and control).

    The masses deserve better!

  7. PatExpat says:
    August 25th, 2007 8:45 am

    Syed Hafeez,

    One step at a time…. Judiciary can’t look into all matters at once.

    At least NS was long time ago. Do you forget how Shaukat Aziz tried to sell Pakistan Steel at throw away prices and almost got away with it. He and his colleagues made billions in HBL fiasco at Karachi Stock Exchange earlier this month. I didn’t see anyone raising eye brows. PNSC which in its history never caught fire has caught fire twice this year first one destroying all the important records and second one because Babar Khan Ghauri (the new Mr. 10 percent) wants to develop a high rise in its place after tearing it down. Now Shaukat Aziz is trying to sell Roosevelt Hotel in New York at a time when real estate prices are their peak through Citibank (incidentally his former employer) in a process which is totally non-transparent and againt the wishes of PIAIL board.

    Should the court take suo moto action against any of the aforementioned cases, would they seem to you ‘against corruption, cronyism’ (what the nation needs as you mentioned) or would you see them as ‘politically motivated’ through your tinted glasses.

    If you have such misgivings against NS, let him come to Pakistan and file a case against him in courts and let it take its natural course.

  8. Syed Hafeez Imran says:
    August 25th, 2007 8:19 am

    I would like to raise a few points

    Everyone is loudly proclaiming the “newly found” integrity and independe and power of the judiciary. IF this is so, more power to them. However we saw during the campaign for the restoration of the CJ,, that his lordship had allowed himself to be hijacked and used as a tool of the politicians and tyhose with vested intersts. Did this not seriously compromise his integrity and imaprtiality.

    Secondly, tere are so many issues of strategic and national impotance which need to be addressed by the judiciary. Are they doing the riight thing and attaching the proper priority. Are the traffic jams and the power cuts of THAt much national importance to be taken up Suop moto at the cost of neglecting other more important uissues – corruption, cronysism and sa host of others

    Do the peole of Pakistan REALLY deserve de a democratic setup> They have such short memories and no real grasp of issues and platforms and a myopic view about talent, capabilities and itegrity. the casee in point is welcoming Mr. and touting Nawaz Sahrif as the next prime minsiter. Have they forgotten how he looted the treaury, was maneoauring to become teh total autocrat and attacking the institutions. he now crows about thejudiciary. Was it not him that had goaade his goons to attack the supreme court while a case against him was bein heard by the august body> His lordship, the then CAJ had to make an umdignified escape to save himself

    And then the shameful episode of the COAS plane, exposing more than 250 people (majority of them school children)

    About the timing od return of the Sharifs (in name only)/ WHY did tyheuy not initiate this process earlier if they tgiought it was their right. Is it not that it is selction tim,e and they want to have the opportunity to again try and grab power.

    Just listyen to his speeches and press conference. He cannot speak for 3 minutes coherently and without repeating himself and has an attention span of an intelelctually cdhallenged primate os 3 year child – and we want HIM as our leader

    It is so true that a nation gets the leader that it deserves,

    The ONLY ray of light we have is Allahs mercy and His providence

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