After Pervez Musharraf losing his citizenship + and the political party he headed, it may now be the turn of deposed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to do the vanishing act.
Sharif has ruled out returning to Pakistan + for now to face corruption charges, while his wife is on a ventilator in London. On June 14, Sharif and his daughter Maryam + left for London after being granted a brief exemption from the ongoing corruption trial against them.
“Can I think of going back to Pakistan under such circumstances when Kulsoom is on ventilator? Do you think I should return to Pakistan leaving behind my wife in such a condition?” is what the three-time Pakistani prime minister told reporters outside a hospital in London two days ago.The Sharif family is facing trial at an accountability court in Islamabad on corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017 verdict in the Panama Papers scandal, disqualifying Sharif and directing the anti-graft watchdog to launch an inquiry.
So what’s the curse that no Pakistan ruler has ever escaped? It’s called 4Cs: Coup, Corruption, Crime and Country-hopping. Coup deposed President Iskander Mirza (1958), PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1977) and PM Nawaz Sharif (1999). There were unsuccessful coup attempts against Liaqat Ali Khan (1949), Zia-ul-Haq (1980) and Benazir Bhutto (1995).
Corruption got these into trouble at some point: Asil Ali Zardari (1990 and 1996), Nawaz Sharif (1999 and 2018), Yousaf Gilani (2012), Pervez Musharraf (2012). Country-hopping has been common too. Altaf Hussain has been in exile in the UK since 2002, Asif Ali Zardari lived in Dubai, London and New York when in exile in 2004, Nawaz Sharif was exiled to Saudi Arabia between 2000 and 2007, Benazir Bhutto was in Dubai between 1998 and 2007 and Musharraf has been living in London since 2008.