Immediately after the Parliament passed amending the Election Bill, the PML-N elected Nawaz Sharif as its leader. The new Act provides for electing a person to be the party chief despite his disqualification to be the member of legislature.
Though the PML-N would like to claim this as the choice of the people, it is clear that this is the party’s choice. The opposition parties in the Parliament did not support the Act in its present version. Some did suggest modifications and some did tore up the resolution. However, the PML-N succeeded in passing it, because of its majority in the Parliament.
Two statements made by Nawaz Sharif after getting re-elected as the Party Chief suggest his present position. He referred to “nothing being learnt from the fall of Dhaka” and the use of “Doctrine of Necessity” to oust him from being the Prime Minister.
The first reference is obviously towards the role of the military in politics leading to the breakup of Pakistan. His statement of “ending a black law which was enacted twice by two dictators Ayub Khan and then Pervez Musharraf” links the new amendment not to his re-election, but to the strengthening of democracy.
The second reference is aimed at the judiciary for being subservient to the dictators by inventing a doctrine of necessity. He stated: “In the past, the Doctrine of Necessity was introduced (to legitimise martial law)…Those who violated the constitutional oath remained Sadiq and Ameen. No action committed during dictatorial rule was taken notice of under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.” He has also called for creating a similar Doctrine of Necessity “to respect people’s mandate and democracy.”
The above two statements clearly reflect the present mood of Nawaz Sharif. ≈The larger question is, whether bulldozing an act in the Parliament despite resentment from the opposition parties will strengthen the case of democracy and supremacy of institutions. Whatever may be the strength of the case leading to his ouster, he should have waited and cleared his name in all those cases before getting re-elected as the party chief. But he is a man in a hurry. For what? What will he do next?