My message is loud and clear……No One is Getting An NRO”.
In his address to nation on 24th October, the Prime minister didn’t mince his words in his announcement,when he said,”opposition is united only because they are scared of audit. They all want an NRO, General Musharraf have NRO to both PMLN and PPP and they want a similar NRO from us.
Why the prime minister had to give such loud message and who was he addressing when he said that? That’s a question that brings us to the dubious statement given by Shehbaz Sharif’s close aide Rana Mashhood a few days ago where he claimed things have been settled between establishment and Nawaz Shareef. PMLN and ISPR both denounced his statement but many stalwarts within the party whom I spoke to were more skeptic off record than they were on record.
There are whispers suggesting that there seems to be some breakthrough in the fate of Sharifs via backdoor diplomacy. A close aide to Prime Minister said at the promise of anonymity that some “understanding has taken place between Nawaz Sharif and the other side “. And it seems like apparently PTI is on board.It’s not the first time that the Sharif family is being suspected of cutting a deal by their close friends and members. On 10th December, 2000, the then Chief Executive of Pakistan , General Pervez Musharraf issued a pardon for Nawaz Sharif and allowed the immediate members of the deposed first family to travel to Saudi Arab on a Saudi royal jet. The terms of the deal were unknown to all major party members. In an earlier interview with me the former Deputy Prime Minister and CM Punjab and now speaker assembly, Chaudry Pervez Ilahi who was at that time very close to Sharif family had said, “ the family was staying at guest room section in our home . They called us bhai yet no one told me or anyone what the deal and why and when it was done.”
The former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who decided to take a revolting stance against judiciary and establishment since his disqualification on 28th July , 2017 had been consistent in his resilience and at times absolutely warmongering policy against the state and institution since he was arrested from the airport along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif on 13th July, 2018. In his last interview with me form Abu Dhabi airport right before his arrest, Nawaz Sharif had said, “media must also play its part.On Maryam Nawaz’s twitter handle, there has been a complete silence since 24th July this year. The last tweet was done a day before the election from jail where she says, “ Vote ko izzat do, the hour of decision is here, come out and vote”. There is no denying that her tweets were a cause of mental itch for many people and some certain quarters in particular.
Nawaz Sharif also has not been talking much during his NAB court appearances , while in the past he used to take full advantage of these opportunities for media statements. At one instance he replied, “ the answer will be given by Maryam Autengzeb”. At another instance, the former prime minister flatly retorts, “I am not watching TV these days. I have not heard nor seen what’s going on”.There is so much noise on NRO and most of it caused by the government so it could not just be plane insinuation. “Who is it who can really do an NRO?”, asked another PTI minister when I asked him. “If it was really up to us to do it, will we be clamouring?”
If an NRO happens once again, the real stakes will be lost of Nawaz Sharif. He has tried building his image as an anti establishment principled man who will take everything head on since the court found him guilty. If he now strikes a deal to get pressure off him then the so called stand on principles will come crumbling down like a pack of cards.