Nawaz Sharif’s NARCO Moment

B L Saraf
When former Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif told Karachi published news- paper Dawn that “there are terrorist organizations that are thriving in Pakistan and the non-state actors were responsible for series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai on 26 /11 / 2008 that claimed 160 lives,” he was not divulging any state secret. He made statement of the fact. Though, some in Pakistan want him to be tried of treason and violation of the Official Secrets Act, but this is one truth, among so many, that is known to one and all who needed to know it. Pak Generals like Duranni, former ISI man Hamid Gul have boasted so, while as General Pervaz Musahraff described  L E T terrorists as Sates’ valued assets used across the border to create death and mayhem. If further testimony was required it came through, though obliquely, by none other than the then US Secretary of State – Madeline Albright (no friend of India). In her statement made one week after the Mumbai attack she said,” Pakistan has everything that gives an international migraine. It has nuclear weapons, it has terrorism, extremists, corruption, it’s very poor, it’s in a location that is really, really important.”
Former Pak PM publicly acknowledged that militant groups are active in the country. The knowledgeable say that Sharif has for the first time questioned Pakistan’s policy to allow “non-state actors” to cross the borders and “kill” people in Mumbai. Coming from a three time Pak P M, the effect of the statement cannot be lost on who really feel against the terrorism. Apart from that, it may have a far reaching consequences for that country and may help India’s cause to fight the cross border terrorism.
As expected, Sharif’s statement evoked strong criticism from all quarters in the Pakistan establishment and political circles. His statement was condemned as “fallacious” “incorrect ” and “misleading.” Some even called him a traitor. Imran Khan cried “hang Sharif being a traitor.” But he stuck to his guns and owned every word of the interview and rejected the criticism by saying “Are those who tore apart Constitution and those who pulled judges out from their offices patriots? I will speak truth no matter what the consequences are.”
India will hope that this statement will be taken note of by FATF which is meeting soon to discuss matters related to the money laundering and terrorist funding. In fact this is the fear which critics of Nawaz in Pakistan entertain and curse him for.
Nawaz Sharif has, undoubtedly, gambled huge by making the statement. It will reverberate far and wide in Punjab which is Muslim League -N’s political base and supplies more than half of the representatives to the Pak Central Assembly. Therefore Sharif’s big ‘ political indiscretion’ calls for some sort of analysis. Why did he find it prudent now to spill the beans. Some observers in Pakistan feel that US, China, Russia and possibly India also are in process of building an alliance in Central Asia, around Afghanistan, which may bring in some kind of stability in Afghanistan. That would require reigning in of the non- sate actors whom Pakistan’s deep state has reared to bite the outsiders. Sharif’s statement may help create a favorable atmosphere. Well, as others feel, it could be his assessment that he has reached dead end of the road from where his and that of his immediate family member’s political journey will go nowhere. This is the one scenario which Pakistan’s real power wielder – Army – has created in unison with Pak Highest Judiciary. What a pity that a man goes against the same establishment which propped him to the highest executive position in the country! Remember, it was Gen Zia who plucked him from nowhere and put him on the high pedestal, against all democratic norms. Then, ISI took him in the lap and, at various times, raised him high to thwart the democratically elected Benazir Bhutto. We appreciate it must be quite painful for the ex PM to go against the Pakistan’s ‘deep state ‘ and tell the truth. Sometimes sense of utmost revenge takes better off one’s mental faculty. May be the thought of loosing political power, forever, looms large on Sharif: that seems to have cast a NARCO spell on his mind to impel him to tell the truth.
It is imperative for the durable peace to prevail in the sub-continent that Pakistan’s real establishment also goes through a NARCO spell and comes clean. It will do good to the bonafides of Pakistan COAS if he has the same advice for Kashmir’s youth – whom he has been using as proxies to play the Pak Army game – which he has for Quetta students. As reported by Inter -Service Public Relations – IPSR, Pakistan Army Chief COA S -General Qamar Javed Bajwa told students in Quetta University, on 8th May “some elements are trying to influence minds of our youth at this stage to create dissatisfaction in the society. ” And then went on to say “…. It is for everyone to ensure that they abide by law of the land and remain within the bounds of Constitution. Army will discharge Constitutional Duties.” According to COAS, Pakistan has rejected terrorism.  Is it so, General? We need Nawaz Sharif among you to testify it.
(The author is former Principal District & Sessions Judge)


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