PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif is now in the decisive stage, in a wait and see phase, while a once-in-a-life-time opportunity stares him in the face saying: Step forward as you are running out of time and I will not be there for you if you act later.
The decision to act, or not to act, is one that has to be taken by Mian Nawaz Sharif alone and this decision will decide the shape of Pakistan’s future political landscape. He has to now take bold, calculated and dynamic political initiatives. If he does not do this then he will have to soon face an irretrievable political situation while his political rivals climb to new political heights.
Because of his hitherto ‘save the system’ policy Mian Nawaz Sharif has lost colossal amount of political space. Can he and his colleagues now bring about quick paced political initiatives aimed at regaining that lost political space? If they do they might even make PPP’s coalition partners i.e. PML-Q, MQM and ANP wonder if they are really onboard the better ship or are they on a drowning ship way out at sea. Can the PML-N bring this about and thus isolate PPP before launching a decisive political onslaught?
For the past three and a half years Mian Nawaz Sharif, obsessed with the fear of a military takeover, always came to the rescue of Mr Zardari’s so-called reconciliation driven coalition government, each time it was under threat.
On 18 March, 2009, Mian Nawaz Sharif could have easily brought down the then fragile government but did not do so for the same fear i.e. a military take over necessitated by chaotic conditions. He chose to call off the long march at Gujranwala after the judiciary was restored. This was a moment when Mian Nawaz Sharif was at his highest political pedestal since his return to Pakistan in late 2007.
Thereafter, it has been a tale of woes and political setbacks that have made Mian Nawaz Sharif face unfair taunts and criticism from friends and foes. One can imagine that this period must have been extremely difficult and embarrassing for him.
However, the ensuing situation now presents Mian Nawaz Sharif only two clear choices through which he can now either regain everything or lose a lot more. The first choice is, to strive and bring about a political change in Pakistan by the end of 2011 because every passing day only adds up to making things more and more difficult for the PML-N.
Secondly, to continue with the hitherto wait and see policy and simply keep wriggling and writhing under an even stronger, bolder and arrogant PPP regime.
In the light of these choices, should Mian Nawaz Sharif now decide to intensify activities. He will have to adopt a two-pronged strategy in which while, on one hand, he builds bridges with some of the political forces and on the other hand he whips up the existing and extreme frustrations of the public against the incumbent government.
More and more political forces will start aligning themselves with Mian Nawaz Sharif if he is seen as successful in whipping up support amongst the masses. Even ANP, MQM and PML-Q will then desert the PPP without the slightest hesitation.
Mian Nawaz Sharif and his planners must realise that it is because of the fear of him and not any so-called national interest etc. that the PML-Q, ANP and MQM find themselves as bed-fellows of the PPP. Inwardly, they all despise each other but are huddled together against a common foe namely, the PML-N.
Deep within PML-Q there is a huge ‘strength reservoir’ for the mother Party i.e. PML-N and Mian Nawaz Sharif’s planners must now appreciate this aspect while deriving their strategy.
Indeed, a do or die situation now stares at Mian Nawaz Sharif in which he does not have the option of losing. Mian Nawaz Sharif and his advisors should be able to see that there is a very bright and glittering silver lining in the apparently adverse political situation confronting them. That silver lining lies in the deployment of the opposing political forces.
Every single political entity that despises PML-N and its leadership has taken refuge in the existing coalition. PML-N is, therefore, presented with a very rare opportunity to outwit all its political opponents in one swooping political maneuver against the PPP led coalition. It would have thus neutralized PPP, PML-Q, MQM, ANP in that one swoop.
While the coalition now holds only one card in the shape of numbers in the National Assembly Mian Nawaz Sharif and his team have multiple options open to them.
Will the PML-N operational staff be able to decipher those multiple options, or not, is something that time will tell. The coalition is now a sitting duck for the Opposition specially as the masses no longer stand with it for commonly known reasons.
The PML-N only has to put into operation a series of calculated and synchronized political actions and win the day.
Can Mian Nawaz Sharif emerge from the dark clouds once again and conquer Pakistan’s political landscape? The next three months should provide the answer.
Mian Nawaz Sharif is the man of the moment and needs to be watched. It has to now be seen how good his political generals are in the unfolding political battle that has much at stake for all the major political parties of the country and in all this 12 March, 2012 is extremely significant.
The writer is a former DG of Intelligence Bureau. Email: email@example.com
Note:- This was published in Pakistan’s largest circulation English language daily newspaper The News on 14 in the National News Section as a ‘Perspective’. The link is This includes www.college-homework-help.org/ making reference to the relevance of the material to the examination, but also, and of course more importantly, the real-world practical application of the ideas and concepts to be covered