Nawaz Sharif is sentenced to ten years in prison and Avenfield field properties have been ceased. Maryam Nawaz faces a similar 7-year sentence.
A fine of 8 million pounds has also been imposed. Maryam’s husband, Cpt. Safdar has also been sentenced to one year in prison. The Sharif family still has the option of appealing the NAB verdict in High Court. They had hoped that due to their absence the Judgement may be delayed, but NAB has announced the judgment.
This judgment impliedly renders Maryam disqualified, a big bump on the beginning of her political career. This judgment comes at a pivotal time and is likely to bend the 20% undecided vote in favor of PTI. Depending on the content of the complete judgment, the ratio remains to be analyzed by experts.
If the verdict is backed by strong evidence and ratio, then all narratives centered on political engineering will be discredited. Nawaz, who had previously been disqualified for life has propagated a destabilizing narrative for Pakistan, that two limbs of state, judiciary and establishment have conspired against him, his party and democratic process, have been proved false. The Sharif families absence from Pakistan, also present implications for this decision.
Will he decide to come back and appeal, or remain in the UK to escape the sentence? Will the local institutions make use of Interpol to get him back? Any complaints of ambiguity regarding the Panama gate judgment do not hold this time. The judgment is clear-cut and the sentences are harsh.
The PML-N leader failed to link his Avenfield properties in the UK with any lawful source of income. He has finally been prosecuted on strong grounds rather than the last vague “iqama” judgment. Decision that is likely to end three time Prime Ministers dominion on Pakistani politics, has also severely damaged Maryam’s political ambitions.
It goes to show that many PMLN loyalists who switched boats closer to the election, speculated this result, solidifying their stand independently or behind PTI. This decision also means, following the traditional path of dynastic politics, Shahbaz and Hamza are next in line to take the reigns of PMLN. The ruling presents a victory against corruption,
a menace that has plagued Pakistan at grass root level. PTI Chairman’s struggle against the corrupt element in parliament has seen another massive success today. Despite various delaying tactics used by Sharif family and their legal counsel, the accountability court is all set to announce the verdict in Avenfield Properties reference against Sharif family on July 6.
Pakistan is all set to hold the general elections on July 25. The decision of the court just 19 days before general elections will obviously affect the outcomes. One line of argument is that the verdict, if against Sharifs,
will benefit the family. In Pakistan, when leaders go to jails, they generally become popular and heroes of the nation. Nawaz and Maryam are expecting the same. On the other hand, there is another line of argument,
Nawaz and his family will become declared ‘corrupt’ and their political career will end. This makes more sense if public sentiments are considered after Nawaz’s disqualification. People accepted the court’s decision and Nawaz become almost a joke in the eyes of people.
Now if Nawaz remains unable to satisfy the court, it is likely that his political support will cease to exist in Pakistan where a new President of the PML-N is making his way to pave way for his son Hamza Shahbaz.