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The judgment

The judgment begins by “the popular 1969 novel, ‘The Godfather’” and then quotes, “Behind every great fortune there is a crime”. The judgment then goes on to state: “It is ironical and sheer coincidence that the present case revolves around that very sentence…..”

Personalities that were in the minds of the lordships: The name ‘Nawaz’ appears 235 times and ‘Thani’ (the Qatari prince) appears 123 times. Next is ‘Hussain’ 111 times, ‘Hassan’ 43 times and ‘Maryam’ 24 times (so ‘Maryam’ really wasn’t that much in the minds of the lordships). The lordships did not forget ‘Ishaq’ and that name appears 23 times. The lordships did not forget ‘Shahbaz’ either but that name appears only 14 times. Interestingly, the word ‘Samdhi’ appears five times.

Other things that were in the minds of the lordships: ‘Properties’ have really been in the minds of the judges as the word appears 483 times. ‘London’, ‘Qatar’, ‘Jeddah’ and ‘Panama’ have really been in the minds of the lordships as they appear 333, 192, 109 and 60 times, respectively. ‘Offshore’ has also been in the minds of the lordships as it appears 96 times, ‘money’ 195 times, ‘corruption’ 107 times and ‘laundering’ 57 times. Yes, ‘television’ has also been in the minds of the lordships as it has been mentioned 33 times.

Intriguingly, the term ‘bogus’ appears five times. First instance: “I may, therefore, be justified in observing that either the copy of the Tripartite Sale Agreement produced before Court is bogus or the affidavit attributed to Mr Tariq Shafi is not genuine”. Regarding the letter from the Qatari prince the judgment states: “In our opinion, the document is bogus, has no legal or evidentiary value and we have no hesitation in outrightly rejecting it.”

Yes, ‘Hudaibiya’ was mentioned five times and that may push the finance minister into an awkward corner-approver or accused? The good news for the PM is that Maryam Nawaz has come out relatively clean but the PM’s legal-cum-moral trial and tribulations continue. The three judges who did not disqualify him have actually added truckloads of difficulties to the PM’s existing stock of anxieties.

For the next 60 days, the PM’s future will revolve around the JIT, a term that has been mentioned 32 times. Yes, JIT’s have a checkered history but the lordships have now sucked in the generals and put them on trial as well. For the record, the lordships were definitely thinking about the ‘army’ and the ‘military’ as the two terms were mentioned 16 times each.

Legal anxieties aside, the PTI and the PPP are going to raise the political temperature both inside and outside the National Assembly and the Senate. The PM is heading into political isolation with Maulana Fazlur Rahman as his only political ally. This could send the wrong message to the five-dozen electables who routinely win in the all-important 148 constituencies that lie between   Rawalpindi and Rahim Yar Khan.

The three-time prime minister is now up against three fronts: the JIT, unprecedented political isolation and the losing battle against loadshedding. The only defence against the JIT: a policy of strategic delay.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.

Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com Twitter: @saleemfarrukh

Farrukh Saleem, "The judgment," The News. 2017-04-23.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , National Assembly , Political temperature , Political isolation , Corruption , Politics , Democracy , Maryam Nawaz , Maulana Fazlur Rahman , Rahim Yar Khan , Qatar , JIT , PTI