By Farman Nawaz (The Frontier Post)
The National Reconciliation Ordinance is again a hot news for media and a point to exploit the situation for PML-N. Online editions of newspapers are blessing in this modern age. Last night I thought to collect news stories about Nawaz Sharif position on NRO during his exile. I was surprised to see that from October 5th 2007 (The day NRO was promulgated) till November 25th 2007 (the day Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan) Nawaz Sharif even did not dare to speak a single word about NRO. But today he does not get tired to talk about NRO. If NRO is a curse so what is the reason of his mysterious silence about NRO during exile?
I will now mention some events during the above stated period. We can easily then understand that he was also a beneficiary of NRO. Just after the promulgation of NRO he decided on 10th of October to go to London. According to BBC Urdu he got his passport from Saudi authorities and the Saudi government had no objection to his traveling to London. His plan was to return to Pakistan from London. On 17th October the Supreme Court was hearing application against Nawaz Sharif’s re-exile. Now let’s see how the things are being set for his return. Then court ruled that his exile was voluntary and now he is permitted – according to constituent – to come back. The Supreme Court said that it could go to “any extent” to implement its verdict in favour of the return of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Shairf.
On 18th of October Nawaz Sharif telephoned Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairwoman Benazir Bhutto and condemned explosions that hit her convoy. Nawaz said Pakistan would have reached a better “National Reconciliation” if he had been allowed to stay in Pakistan. Superb! It means that practically he supported the reconciliation process under NRO. And this may the point which Molana Fazal ur Rehaman mentioned last week. He said that Nawaz Sharif was also eager to get benefit from NRO. And that is the reason why he was silent about NRO till his return to Pakistan. And we know that silence is half consent.
On 23rd October Shahbaz Sharif told Geo that Musharraf had sent Nawaz into “forced exile” with the help of his foreign friends. He said Musharraf was still pressuring Nawaz to stop trying to return with the help of a “friendly” country. “Saudi Arabia is closely monitoring the situation and Nawaz will be in Pakistan soon”. But according to The Supreme Court detailed judgement on petitions by Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, the exile was not “forced”. “Whatever terminology, i.e., deal, negotiation, mediation, third-party intervention, undertaking or agreement, may be used, there is no denying the fact that the petitioners proceeded abroad on their own, maybe under compelling circumstances, but they were fully aware about it and by no stretch of the imagination can it be termed as forced exile”.
On October 26, 2007 the European parliament on Thursday called on Pakistani authorities to allow all exiled political leaders to return to the country ahead of legislative elections there set for January.
It is said the BB came back because of western pressure but see how western parliament is pressurizing Pakistan to let Nawaz and his family allowed to return.
On 29th of October the party leaders of PML-N, who had gathered at the funeral of PML-N Joint Secretary Siddiqul Farooq’s mother, said that Nawaz’s arrival will give “credibility” to polls. “Maybe the powers that be have also realized that it was wrong to put all their eggs in the PPP’s basket,” said another PML-N leader. He added that Saudi government would respect the SC decision on Nawaz and would not bar him from leaving the country, especially when PPP Chairwoman Benazir Bhutto had arrived in Pakistan and started her election campaign.
During this period emergency was imposed in Pakistan and elections were promised to hold under PCO. Nawaz Sharif promised BB to cooperate in her protest against Musharaf. The point is that Nawaz Sharif issued statements about every important issue but he never spoke about NRO. Now the nation ask him why he was silent about NRO at that time? Because today he says that NRO is a notorious law and treachery with nation. Why he was dead silent about this treachery?
The positive aspect of western politics is its transparency and their commitment and dedication to national interest. Benazir has also initialized the same trend in Pakistani politics by making healthy and crystal clear deals with military establishment and especially paving the way for NRO. The deal made by Nawaz Sharif benefited his family merely, while NRO opened a way for all the political parties. After Nawaz’s deal with military caused the split in political parties while on the other side NRO brought all political parties to the parliament and followed by a political harmony. If making a deal for going out of the country is justified so NRO must be appreciated for paving the way for politicians to come back to country with honor and dignity.