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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
128 Comments
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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

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  1. August 23rd, 2007 11:16 pm

    i have read lots of times “Shah se zyda shah ka wafadar”, Sher Afgan proved it once again by not accepting SC’s decision.

    The interesting thing would be, when Sharif comes in power and Ifti keeps playing current role and not allowing him to do unfair exercises which he did in past, then I would see how much shareef or B.B respects judiciary.

    It’s time to reopen case against altaf hussain as well for killing of Azeem Tariq,Khalid Bin Waleed and several Karachiites.

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    August 23rd, 2007 10:32 pm

    noting the cities and areas where celebration is being made today and where it is not shows a divided nation.

  3. KAWA1 says:
    August 23rd, 2007 10:32 pm

    auk

    You make a great point and I fully agree. I think election commission will become a target of the judiciary very soon. As long as the judiciary remains independent, we can be confident that we will live to see better days in Pakistan.

    We as Pakistanis live in such dejection and hopelessness that at the very least all of us should rejoice these few moments of freedom and landslide decisions being given by the Supreme Court. This is a time to be excited, hopeful and looking to a better future!

  4. auk says:
    August 23rd, 2007 10:13 pm

    The political landscape of the country is totally changed from yesterday because of this decision. In order for an American imposed leadership to come into being now, Mush and BBs partnership is more a reality than before. Next few days will unravel this, as we will start seeing the desertions from Q league, and more parleys between bb and mush. However if Mush thinks that he can stay there for another term, he better think again, and start planning an exit strategy. Contrary to what his advisors (buffoons) may be saying, barring another ML, this Supreme Court isn’t letting him get reelected in Uniform or through the same assemblies. His only hope is a rigged election, the results of which will not be very pleasant. If he has any shred of patriotism left, he better leave the political process take its due course.
    That brings me to the next point. There is one other institution that needs to be freed from the clutches of the rulers; Election Commission of Pakistan. It is the ECP which needs to give us the dates of the presidential and all other elections, and needs to have a formal process in place to commence the electioneering efforts by the candidates. However, in the absence of such an institution, we are left to the whims of the incumbent govt to decide when to have the elections, and how to conduct them. The process is far from transparent, and totally haphazard.

  5. Khurram says:
    August 23rd, 2007 8:01 pm

    “According to the Supreme Court

  6. crimson says:
    August 23rd, 2007 7:52 pm

    Agree with you pindiwalla – Can’t afford to let the corrupt, sleazoids like Benazir and Gunja enter our precious country. What makes Kruman and others on this blog think that these morons have rid themselves of their innate corruption? Fool me once -shame on you – fool me twice – shame on me! Kruman – how much more of plundering by Benazir and Gunju are you readiness to unleash on pakland?

  7. pindiwalla says:
    August 23rd, 2007 7:30 pm

    Kruman – CJ is not an elected official… People didn’t give any verdict – a bunch of CJ’s formers colleagues reinstated him … So let’s be clear CJ is not an elected official or has any kind of mandate. Let’s not forget that this is the same CJ who jumped on signing the PCO to welcome and legitimize the Mush govt. Wonder where his backbone was at that time and he didn’t resign like a few other colleagues of his did –

    Again – my question is why isn’t the current CJ taking up the cases in front of the Supreme Court regarding the “storming”

    Mush Zindabad!

  8. Kruman says:
    August 23rd, 2007 7:03 pm

    Pindiwalla,
    Better to ask Mush. Why did he spare NS in this case if there was proof that he ordered the storming?

    For those worrying about who takes over, believe me they’ll have their hands full with an assertive judiciary. Honeymoon for the new government won’t last very long.

    The people gave a unanimous verdict in favor of CJP. No politician is likely to get as much public support. CJP is #1 in Pakistan today and has the “mandate” to can kick any corrupt rulers ass. He has this massive “public mandate” because his lawyers ran the most successful public campaign since Pakistan movement. Has anyone ever waited 26 hours to listen to any politician? Not even Bhutto got this kind of support.

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