Explainer: Nawaz Sharif’s clever move to dump lawyer

June 12, 2018

Nawaz Sharif wants to buy time in his accountability cases ahead of the elections. And so, his lawyer Khawaja Haris withdrew from representing him. SAMAA TV anchorperson Nadeem Malik explains why this was an incredibly smart move and how it is linked to the PML-N election strategy.

Khawaja Haris withdrew from representing Nawaz Sharif on Monday.

Nadeem Malik explained that Mr Sharif made many blunders in the Panama Papers case hearing and faced punitive measures. “But in the accountability court, his lawyer was very successful in putting his delay tactics into action,” he said.

The analyst said that Mr Sharif’s lawyer made a timely move. “Khawaja Haris refused to work seven days a week,” he said. “These days, even the Chief Justice works seven days a week. On principle, it is correct that one works for five days. But this is a tactical move on part of Mr Sharif.”

According to Nadeem Malik, it is not possible to inflict further damages on Mr Sharif unless “earth-shaking” evidence emerges against him. “He is already disqualified – what more can he face?” he said. “You can’t put him in jail as he hasn’t committed murder. And the corruption cases won’t be resolved any time soon.”

Nadeem Malik said that Mr Sharif’s “success story” would now be to buy time through the election period, remain disqualified but face no punishment and pull the strings of his party from behind the scenes with his brother only running it on the surface.

“The PTI will face a very tough time and they will not get a free ride,” Nadeem Malik said. “They will face a tough fight in every constituency. The PPP is not in the Punjab so it will be a one-on-one competition.”

According to Nadeem Malik, the PML-N might still be in the lead in Punjab in the election. “The PML-N will continue to exist in the Punjab if his daughter and other leaders win.”

The analyst compared Mr Sharif’s strategy to that of the PPP’s. “The PPP started saving face after accepting corruption allegations against Dr Asim Hussain, Sharjeel Memon, Pir Mazharul Haq, Faryal Talpur, her husband and many more ministers,” he said. “Anyone linked to Zardari has corruption charges. In this situation, PPP emerged limited to rural Sindh alone. The PML-N, on the other hand, has become more aggressive.”