Shehbaz’s arrest has made Sharif family’s political future bleak: analysts

October 5, 2018

The arrest of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader Shehbaz Sharif has made the Sharif family’s political future bleak, said analysts on a SAMAA TV panel discussion.

On Friday, the National Accountability Bureau arrested the former Punjab Chief Minister in Ashiana housing scam. He will be produced before an accountability court on Saturday.

“NAB is an independent institution. It can arrest any person. So, now the responsibility lies on it to prove the charges against Shehbaz” said SAMAA TV’s Lahore Bureau Chief Ahmed Waleed.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that more arrests would be made after Shehbaz. He said that the officials of the anti-graft watchdog may have leaked the information to Chaudhry.

The NAB must prove their claim about corruption and misuse of power, Waleed said.

Adnan Adil, another analyst in the panel, said the PML-N leadership is free to approach the courts to challenge the NAB. “The courts are independent now.”

He dismissed the notion that the government knew about the arrest. “Whatever the ministers have said, it might be on the basis of a possibility, which always exists in such cases.”

Adil said that Shehbaz’s arrest said that there is a dark future ahead for the Sharif family.

While commenting on PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb’s remarks that government is victimising the party, Adil said “the move can hurt the party in Punjab.”

“The PML-N has its strongholds in urban Punjab. It is yet to be seen how the party retains its popularity in the by-election,” he added.

He said that the PPP and the PML-N have forged an alliance before the by-election. The two key rival political parties had accused each other of corruption in the past, but they appear to be united today, the analysts said.

The PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the arrest would send a bad impression to the world.

“PPP is also facing a similar situation. Asif Zardari, Sharjeel Memon, Dr Asim and Faryal Talpur are facing a trial for corruption. They may face a similar fate,” said SAMAA TV senior analyst and Islamabad bureau chief, Khalid Azeem. “They have compelled to form an alliance.”

“PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were silent even three hours after the arrest. It strengthens the perception that they are still unhappy with Shehbaz Sharif,” he remarked.

Nawaz Sharif, meanwhile, issued his statement five hours after his brothers’ arrest. He termed the arrest ‘worst revenge’ by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.