Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif are coming back to Pakistan to serve a prison sentence in Avenfield reference case.
While Nawaz Sharif and his daughter have departed from Abu Dhabi and set to reach Lahore by 8:00 according to the latest media reports, Pakistani Twitter is going through a severe debate on the matter.
Debate on Pakistani Social Media Upon Nawaz Sharif Arrival
Life in Lahore, the capital of Punjab has become to an almost standstill as the government has suspended internet service, mobile service and blocked the ways by putting containers on most of the roads and highways to maintain the law and order situation.
Earlier, police also arrested several PMLN workers and local political leaders who were all set to reach Lahore airport for welcoming the party leader who is coming back to surrender.
Here is how Pakistani people, politicians, bloggers, and journalists are viewing this situation.
A majority of liberals, political leaders, and pro-PMLN social media users are criticizing the crackdown on ex-ruling party’s workers in wake of Nawaz Sharif’ arrival.
Understand the legal grounds for arrest of MNS after NAB conviction but on what grounds are workers and leaders being arrested? Why is Lahore under siege ? Right to peacful protest is fundamental for democracy.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) 13 July 2018
Police crackdowns on political parties are highly condemnable…just like the last several 100 times this has happened and here’s a blanket condemnation of all the 100s of times this will happen in the future.
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) 13 July 2018
Am against all crackdowns on political activists or blocking of peaceful protests,whatever r political grievance or differences. 1: this will breed more Gullu Butts and more martyrdom narratives. 2: two wrongs don’t beget a right. Whatever N League did wrong this is not ok at all https://t.co/mUmEf2z3gT
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) 13 July 2018
Worse than any martial law. Political supporters of PMLN being arrested in their hundreds. Mobile networks ordered blocked tomorrow. Highways being blocked. Containers placed on all major roads of Lahore. Adverts & speeches of PMLN banned.All because Nawaz Sharif arrives tomorrow
— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) 12 July 2018
And, PTI leader Asad Umer was quick to remind them how PML-N curbed the political activities of opponents by killing people in Model Town when the party was in government.
As an opponent i should say pml n should be allowed as much freedom as nawaz sharif allowed political opponents in model town & Islamabad but unlike NS i actually believe in democracy . Pml n should have freedom of assembly as guaranteed in the constitution
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) 13 July 2018
Parwaz Hai Junoon actor Hamza Ali Abbasi who also happens to be a PTI leader claims things that disqualified prime minister and his daughter Maryam Nawaz who are facing corruption charges, must not receive media coverage.
I fail to understand why our media is giving coverage to and showing statements of convicted criminals like Nawaz Sharif & Maryam.
— Hamza Ali Abbasi (@iamhamzaabbasi) 12 July 2018
On Political Victimization of PML-N
The whole world now knows that the PMLN alone is being targeted. Imran Khan has all the freedom to hold a public meeting in Lahore today while Section 144 has been imposed on the occasion of homecoming of PMLN Quaid Nawaz Sharif tomorrow. #SSpresser
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) 12 July 2018
The crackdown on PML-N workers and likely showdown in and outside Lahore airport on Nawaz Sharif & Maryam’s arrival could raise questions about holding of free and fair election. Caretaker govt is powerless, Election Commission bypassed. Who is calling the shots? Establishment?
— Rahimullah Yusufzai (@rahimyusufzai1) 12 July 2018
Even on the monitored TV screens there are reports of arrests, roadblocks, different standards for PMLN & PPP. Hope the caretaker cabinet members – educated, polished, experienced persons- are seeing them and at least feeling a little remorse on what they are allowing to happen.
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) 13 July 2018
Those Sympathizing with Nawaz Sharif
Ex-PM of Pakistan who was disqualified on charges of corruption had left Pakistan with his daughter Maryam Nawaz one month before to visit of his wife in the hospital. He is coming to the country to serve the sentence while leaving behind his comatose who is on the ventilator. Earlier, today a picture went viral where father and daughter can be seen standing by their wife and mother Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
Many people are sympathizing with Nawaz Sharif for facing such a critical situation in his political career at the time when his wife is on the deathbed.
Poignant scene at the London clinic where Nawaz Sharif and daughter Mariam say goodbye to comatose Kulsoom Nawaz. Wish them strength and peace. Whatever his faults MNS has come a long way from being GenZia’s protege. pic.twitter.com/VKI1AqWhxS
— beena sarwar (@beenasarwar) 13 July 2018
As a journo, I need to remain impartial. And believe in rule of law. But I’m also a woman, daughter & sister. This can’t be an easy time for any son or daughter to bid adieu to their mother who may end up in jail. & certainly not for a father who is accompanying her there. pic.twitter.com/d495q4D0VE
— Sana Bucha (@sanabucha) 12 July 2018
Why So Hype Around Ex-PM’s Arrival in Pakistan?
All eyes are set on Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s arrival to Pakistan. Even international media is reporting the event. The general narrative about the ex-premier’s return, government’s crackdown on PMLN workers and Nawaz Sharif’s prison sentence as a result of Avenfield Reference is divided into Pro-PTI, Pro-Establishment and Pro-PML-N point of view in the country. Many liberal intellectuals think that Nawaz Sharif is paying the cost for his narrative on the relationship with India. And, Imran Khan’s rising popularity is because the establishment is favoring him as the next prime minister of Pakistan in a bid to let down PML-N.
Even many journalists and writers have gone to an extent to laud the bravery and courage of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif and comparing the duo to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his daughter late Benazir Bhutto.
It wouldn’t be wrong at all to sum up that in the history of Pakistan all that debate has always been about Politicians vs. Establishment. It has never been about people vs. atrocity, injustice, and corruption, except that politicians at the receiving end portray themselves as the true representative of the people when their turn to face the wrath of status-quo comes.