July 18, 2024

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Nawaz Sharif attributes Pakistan’s woes to internal factors, not external forces

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif emphatically declared that neither India nor the US were responsible for the nation’s predicament, asserting that Pakistan had “shot ourselves in the foot.” Addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members as he seeks a historic fourth term, Sharif indirectly alluded to the military establishment’s role in his ousting in 1993, 1999, and 2017.

Sharif directed criticism at the judiciary, contending that it legitimised military dictators and questioning their compliance with constitutional norms. Notably, he singled out former ISI chief Gen. Faiz Hamid for his involvement in orchestrating his removal in 2017, citing an ongoing case against those implicated.

Returning from London exile in October, Sharif actively pursues a fourth term as Pakistan’s prime minister despite past removals. Sharif alleges the military engineered his 2017 removal to facilitate Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Sharif claimed in a recent address that the military coerced senior judges from 2014–17, leading to his removal from power. He claimed that the judges were threatened, ultimately influencing verdicts against him.

Amid legal battles, Sharif maintains internal factors, not external influences, are responsible for Pakistan’s challenges. Acquitted in the Al-Azizia case and cleared in Avenfield and Flagship cases, Nawaz Sharif has faced legal ups and downs. Despite these legal victories, Sharif contends that the nation’s struggles are largely self-inflicted, primarily due to internal political dynamics.

As Sharif endeavours to secure a political comeback, his emphasis on internal accountability and the impact of the military establishment on Pakistan’s political landscape sets the stage for continued debates and legal battles.