Release but no relief for the Sharifs…


After the release of younger Sharif the initial perception was that, that maybe this was a part of some deal. Because it is also a perception that the elder Sharif as well as the younger one were divided on whether or not they should confront the establishment because the elder Sharif is a hardliner and it was assumed that the younger Sharif was otherwise. First of all, my observation is, that the Sharif family was never divided and it is not possible that the younger Sharif would make any deals without the blessings of his elder brother. Recent bail of younger Sharif from Lahore High Court did not come as a surprise. Because we understand that Sharif family has remained in power for more than three decades and their roots and connections in Bureaucracy as well as usually have always remained intact. Last week a High Court judge on a simple real estate matter not only misbehave with a Brigadier who was in charge of DHA but he went on and remarked that the army is the biggest land mafia. Despite these harsh remarks, nothing happened to him. One more thing is that the PMLN is still popular in Punjab and their vote bank is still intact. Maybe this is why they will not take to the streets this time because they know their vote from Punjab will always remain safe. Last but not least, in the near future I do not see the military establishment giving any relief to the Shareef family.
The Saudi-Pak relations had been so hostile that last year the Saudi government bitterly asked Pakistan to return the 2 billion dollars they had lent to PTI Government in 2019. It was a time when the government was financially so weak that it borrowed the money from China and returned to Saudia. There were a number of reasons of the bitterness in Pakistan and Saudia relations, one of them was that the PTI government tried to balance friendly relations with Iran and Turkey. And even the last year’s care conference which Pakistan was supposed to attend but dropped out at the last minute was owing to the pressure from Saudia and maybe Washington as well. There are two causes for the recent rapid reconciliation between the two countries: 1. Afghanistan; and 2. The army, which is more important as the Pak army is the only one that has a very old deep-rooted base in Mecca.
The strength of the Saudi army relies heavily upon that of Pak army. Our last Army chief General Raheel Sharif has been in Mecca as the head of the so-called Islamic army. And I think that the Bajwa Doctrine has won over the Saudians, which was obvious during the the Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, because our Army chief was already there two days prior to his arrival. Significantly, Saudi King himself received our Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Jeddah airport.