There has been controversy as a picture of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif dining at an upscale restaurant in London with several of his family members went viral. This has reaffirmed that the ‘ailing’ PML-N leader was not in a serious condition.
Several PTI leaders have taunted the PML-N leader for enjoying a meal along with Shehbaz Sharif and other family members. Fawad Chaudhry launched a fresh verbal attack on the former premier, while Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid has also criticised him. Nawaz Sharif seemed to be in good health from the moment he boarded the air ambulance to London.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has tasked the Punjab health minister to get an update on Nawaz’s health. Nawaz Sharif‘s personal physician has been asked to submit medical reports but there were insufficient, indicating there has been no progress in his treatment. This shows that Nawaz Sharif has not undergone any major procedures in London, and remains in a similar condition as he was in Pakistan.
Nawaz’s son’s Hussain has clarified that his father was taken out for a walk and dinner with family members on the advice of doctors as it also part of the treatment. Last week, Nawaz received former Afghan president Hamid Karzai who stayed with him for over an hour.
The PML-N was in a dilemma either to engage in confrontation with the government or adopt a reconciliatory approach. The unconditional support over the army act took party supporters and even several leaders by surprise. The move has deeply affected the party’s narrative to ‘Give respect to the vote’ and could have political repercussions.
The ordeal for Maryam Nawaz has not ended as she remains on the no-fly list. She was also excluded from the party discussion to support the military bills. Party leaders remain mum over whether Maryam was taken into confidence over the decision. There are even reports that PML-N leaders swore that they wouldn’t reveal details of the meeting in London where this decision was taken. However, many couldn’t hold their tongues for long and suggested that there was external pressure.
Shehbaz Sharif wants to move on from the army amendment bill. There might be a temporary relief for the PML-N but will soon realize the damage it has caused their pro-democracy narrative. The party is perhaps mistaken in its belief that they can chart a way back to power with a calm reconciliatory approach. For now PML-N appears rudderless with no course of action. PM Imran Khan shall surely be pleased as he succeeds in keeping the largest opposition party out of his way.