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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Ghayyur_Ayub
Full Name: Ghayyur Ayub
User since: 26/Jul/2007
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Nawaz Sharif-the least understood political leader

By

Dr Ghayur Ayub

 

Our society suffers from three major illnesses; slave mentality, individual egoism; and having different rules for haves and have-nots. As a result, it failed to produce capable leadership. Exceptions are there but like finding a needle in a haystack it is difficult to locate such leaders.

There are two types of capable leaders; first, the ones who are born and brought up with uprightness; second, circumstances have chiselled them. These leaders become the target of those fraudulent influential who run the ailing society. History is full of such examples. Go to Lincoln's Inn and see for yourself an interesting mural in the main hall showing the most upright law givers of history.

In Pakistan Nawaz Sharif can be listed in the second group. He might not have an exemplary past behind him but he is a transformed leader. That makes him primary target for those elites who believe in vicious status-quo. On the other hand, a vast number of poor public look at him as a changed person who can deliver. So, the poor see in him what they see in themselves-sincerity. The elites don't see in him what they see in themselves- slickness. And here is the problem. The minority elite have modern tools to convince the majority by highlighting his past record with intellectual sarcasm and keep pounding on it like 'Zikr' brainwashing them to a great extent.

Is NS really that incapable as the elites project him to be? Let us dilate upon it a bit further. A political leader carries three packages; personal; familial; and political.

  1. Personal. Three elements play important role in personal profile; cleanliness, respect for others and loyalty to friends. Personal cleanliness is essential for one's soul refinement and becomes visible in and around his surroundings. Respect should not be confused with fear, and be displayed equally whether a person is dealing with his servant or his maestro. Loyalty to friends is based on reciprocation and is broken by backstabbing.

Nawaz Sharif is known for personal cleanliness which becomes visible in surrounding where he lives or works. This became apparent when he moved from Saudi Arabia to his flat in Park Lane and later to his office in Duke Street. Both became spick and span in no time.

Respecting others is in his nature. To give an example, in Duke Street he used to enjoy green tea which he brought from his flat. Sometime he opted for coffee. Once he asked Yaqub who was in-charge of the kitchen to make one. A few minutes later he brought coffee which was cold and tasted awful. Instead of getting annoyed and shouting, which others in his position usually do, he quietly lamented in a deferent mode, “Yar Yaqub, Yeh Kaisi coffee Hai” (Yakub my friend what type of coffee is this?). There was no anger or arrogance in his tone. There is an Urdu word for it called 'Haya'. He is full of it

His loyalty to friends is known to people who know him. He treats friends equally whether they are poor like his close buddy Sajad Ali Shah or powerful like royal family of Saudi Arabia. He bonds friendship with loyalty and keeps it intact until friends back-stab him. In that case he holds an elephant memory against them. Another interesting point in his personal life is his liking for classical music. Plato once said, 'Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything'. Creative music brings serenity and instils love in a personality which it did in case of Nawaz Sharif.

  1. Familial. Whatever people might say about Sharif's family, they agree on one thing that the late Mian Sahib bounded the family with religious discipline and respect for elders. If it wasn't for those qualities Shehbaz Sharif would have left his elder brother in a political limbo when pressure mounted on him during arduous times. That trend transmitted uniformly in all the members of the family. Today Nawaz Sharif is the elder of the family getting all the respect his late father used to get and he is transmitting it unequivocally just like his father did.
  2. Political. As mentioned he is one of the least-understood politicians. For example, the elites say he has no grip over his colleagues. There might be some truth in it but does that truth apply on every decision he makes? Not really. In vital matters he is an unbending decision-maker. Take the decision he took on nuclear issue. All his mates were against the blast. He did what the public expected of him.

I watched him taking important decisions against the wishes of his close colleagues. Once at eleventh hour of drafting Charter of Democracy (CoD) he was informed that Benazir decided to hold talks in the residence of Rehman Malik. All, except Ghaus Ali Shah, opposed the idea. NS set aside his personal feelings and accepted her proposal against the wishes of his colleagues.

At another occasion, when Aitzaz Ahsan was not in a good book of Benazir, it was put to NS to use him against her. He rejected the idea saying that he wanted to start clean politics in Pakistan.

Yet at another crucial moment a few days prior to his return to Pakistan, I was arranging his interview for NDTV with Munizae Jahagir in his office when a call came on his mobile. He spoke in English. During conversation his smiling expressions changed to seriousness. Most of his replies were brief and non-committal. After the phone I asked him if everything was okay. He looked at me with mild smile and said, 'Yes doctor sahib, lets get on with the interview'. I knew someone pressurised him not to go to Pakistan and I could only guess where the phone call came from. He did not succumb to pressure and returned to Pakistan on September 10th 2007.

 

The elites of society oppose him because they want him to follow the old rules of deceitfulness in politics. They don't like the 'born again' Nawaz Sharif. To bring him down they give examples related to his distant past.

The poor of the country, on other hand, rely on the 'new' Nawaz Sharif basing their opinion on what he did for them when he was in power. They remember;

  • He got rid of toll (Chungi) tax which was crippling the poor.
  • He introduced yellow cab scheme for low income public.
  • He opened green channel facilities at airports to facilitate ordinary overseas Pakistanis
  • He introduced Ghurbat Mitao Scheme based on WHO-sponsored Basic Development Deed (BDD) program to alleviate poverty.
  • He improved free health facilities for the poor including kidney dialysis program.
  • He opted for nuclear blasts to protect the country from dominance of aggressive India
  • He built motorway for quick transportation and proficient trade.
  • He decentralised administrative and economic management for the good of the public.

The list is bigger which the misguided elites tend to ignore making Nawaz Sharif controversial, debased and least understood political leader through an orchestrated and controlled media.

The end

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