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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

Comment Pages: « 1614 13 12 11 10 [9] 8 7 6 5 41 » Show All

  1. sarmad says:
    August 24th, 2007 8:37 am

    i still think that bringing him back into the country is a big mistake …

  2. sarmad says:
    August 24th, 2007 8:34 am

    i still think its a bad idea to let nawaz back into the country …

  3. Aqil Sajjad says:
    August 24th, 2007 8:24 am

    It is interesting to see remarks recalling the corruption of NS and his attack on the judiciary. However, today, the media and judiciary are independent and the people are much more aware then they used to be in the 1990s. It will not be so easy for NS or BB to loot like they did in the 1990s.

    It will also be difficult for NS to attack the courts again, after the healthy precedent set by the lawyers movement. If even a military government has been badly shaken for arbitrarily removing a CJ, political govts will find it even harder to get away with such a misadventure in the future.

    However, the return of the Sharifs and BB is still a failure in the sense that it shows how much our political system is dominated by personalities instead of institutions. But then, before posting angry messages on their return, we should ask how much we have invested in trying to build institutions? Counting on Musharraf to keep BB and NS out was hardly a sustainable solution. They were bound to come back sooner or later unless political parties were developed into proper institutions that did not depend on a few personalities. So what did Mush do to develop political parties? Apart from cobbling alliances of PML-Q and PPP-patriot lotas that is?

    If we want better leaders to emerge, we need to raise our voices for reforms in the system so that new alternatives have a chance of emerging. Things like devolving power to the grass roots level (to which we have remained indifferent), intra-party democracy and other measures for taking independent electronic media to the whole country (local radio stations etc) are a few things that come to mind.

  4. faraz says:
    August 24th, 2007 8:03 am

    If we have a independent juditionary then it may change many things in fututre but only time will tell.

    There are many cases in judionary like “attack of sharif brothers” on SC which are pending. SC is working on high profile anti government cases first.

    These judges have been grown up and have came from our society. What make any of us think they will be truly independent?

  5. Adonis says:
    August 24th, 2007 7:00 am


    Owais Mughal says:

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

    I watched news of celebrations on ARY news last night and saw pictures of celebrations in express newspaper. The cities in which these celebrations happened, according to these sources, included Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Khairpur, Sanghar, Karachi, Quetta, Abbotabad and Peshawar.

    WHAT DIVIDE ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

  6. Adonis says:
    August 24th, 2007 6:01 am

    @ Babar,

    I think my comparison holds true because if a robber asks you “your money or your life” and you give your money, then you also get to save your life. Certainly you cannot be accused of gaining something here.

  7. Jamal Mohammad Siddiqui says:
    August 24th, 2007 4:21 am

    Dear brothrs and sisters the recent case of CJ was fought by M/s. Etezaz Ahsan, Hamid Khan and Munir A. Malik while Musharraf’s case was defended by Malik Qayyum and S. Peerzada.

    It is known through the news papers that heavy fee and expenses incurred? So my question is that logically all the expenses should be borne by Mr. Musharraf and his incompetant adviser and not the money of citizen of Pakistan. same as Bill Clinton the head of state of a super power paid his monica case bill by his pocket for which he was heavily indebted.

    So the same way people money should not be spent and should be recovered from them incompetant advisor upon whose advieses he Musharraf took the action.

    Also to be noted that so far this earth did not produced such an extra ordinary justice ruller and a brave commander the 2nd Caliph Omar may allah be pleased with him, some cloth pieces were distributed and he got one and it was not enough to make a shrit (Thob) so on an occassion people saw him wearing the Thob of same cloth and they objected so the son clarified that yes it is correct one piece of cloth is not enough for a thob but i have given my cloth of piece to my father so he can make his shirt and then the people were satified.

    So I request to my brothers and sisters to follow this and raise the voice against all such things and please ask the clarification and I am not a lawyer and dont know much about the law but if my question is appropriate then i wish to join hand together and file case against this?????????

  8. shez says:
    August 24th, 2007 4:15 am

    @Babar, agree with you completely, we somehow do not see hypocracy as a vice, not only do we have short memory, its selective memory aswell.

Comment Pages: « 1614 13 12 11 10 [9] 8 7 6 5 41 » Show All



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