Exile Left

Posted by sepoy on May 12, 2004 · 2 mins read

A weird game of chicken happened in Lahore this past week. Shahbaz Sharif, brother of twice-and-former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told his party loyals that he is coming back to Lahore. The government stated its firm opposition and when his plane landed in Lahore, shipped him right back. Bit of background: When Musharraf gained power, he exiled the Sharif family to Saudia Arabia for 10 years under an "agreement" instead of having them stand trial for corruption or murder. Musharraf knew his history and knew not to do as Zia did unto Bhutto. Now Shahbaz Sharif, who was the Chief Minister of Punjab, said, "I am coming home". The government responded in a very subdued and sober manner.
By putting up road blocks around Lahore one week in advance, rounding up all the leaders under some obscure Martial Law Ordinance and putting them under house arrests, arresting hundreds of low-level PML-N operators. Then, it stopped TV channels from broadcasting an interview with Mr Sharif in London and barricaded the office of the CNN in Lahore lest it show Mr Sharif emerging from the Lahore airport surrounded by supporters. Nice subdued response.

And the funny thing is that Shahbaz was a nobody before this. Now, he is Nelson Mandela. Maybe, the government remembers the magic that was the return of Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan under Zia. I remember that. She was a rock star. Her parade was endless. The flowers reached the clouds. Perphaps, they were scared that Shahbaz Sharif would get that reception and galvanize the ARD movement. Instead, they made fools out of themselves by trampling onevery citizen's right and may well galvanize the anti-Musharraf movements.


s¯nee | May 12, 2004

Shahbaz Sharif , 'Im coming back', is nothing but a political stunt to evoke anti mussarraf sentiments; i even heard a rumor that the whole ML party (muslim league) is going to be ONE again, no more ML(N),(J)(Q)..and so on..the sharif family was thrown out of the country with a simple deal made with messaraff ; No coming back until 'I RULE'.. but ofcourse shahbaz misses the chicken karai,the nann piy,the mutton roast and his 3rd wife/daughter currently resident in Lahore !!

Shakir | May 12, 2004

YES: i agree with muki,..its all because the previous budget was poeple friendly and the upcoming budget is expected to be even more flexible, hence this 'developing' pro-messarraf sentiments in the nation is not tolerable by these 'long term' nation blood sucking looters ; so they just want to create panic and divert attention... sharif family is currently planning to make the asian biggest steel mill in KSA!! (its one of their 'things to do'...)