Let My Nawaz Sharif Go

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his niece, Maryam Nawaz have been summoned by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to his room – the sub-jail — at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore to discuss the developments arising out of the remarks by the Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS).

Nawaz hugs his daughter, and murmurs, “What is happening! You were saying that soon the night of oppression would come to an end, but what we see is darkness.

“In fact, last night, I dreamt that King Abdullah had appeared in this boy, MBS’s dream and had sat him down and explained to him that what the Sharif family has done for the kingdom and how this [Sharif] family was in fact behind all the development projects in the kingdom. He even asked [former minister] Ahsan Iqbal to confirm what he was saying. Then I saw King Abdullah put his hand on MBS’s shoulder and said that he should demand that [prime minister] Imran Khan free the Sharif family and he would deposit at least $5 billion in Imran’s account anywhere in the world.”

Maryam excitedly asks, “Then what happened next? See, didn’t I tell you that soon the night of oppression would come to an end?”

Shehbaz, drawing his chair closer to his brother’s bed, asks, “Where did Imran Khan get this money deposited?”

Nawaz, a bit flustered says, “Shehbaz, you have not been paying attention. I told you at the beginning that it just a dream. However, this said, I must say that the dream continued. Then I saw that MBS whispering something in Imran’s ear, and Imran is giving him a sheet of paper that says in bold letters, ‘Government of Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan.’”

Shehbaz interrupts again, “You mean, he refused the offer! This is awful. Imran Khan is giving them bad habits. So this is why in his remarks, MBS said that he strongly believed in the merit of Pakistan’s present leadership and the bright future of the country, which was set to become one of the major world economies. Thereafter, MBS also added that what we did today, is the beginning and we hope in the near future we do more and more partnering with Pakistan.”

A more morose looking Nawaz murmurs again, “My dear Shehbaz and Maryam, this is not old times when young people respected their elders. Imagine if our Abbaji [Mian Sharif, his father], even hinted at something, how eager we would be to carry out his command. Indeed, times have changed.”

Maryam, now looking tired, offers, “I know you did not watch the telecast of Imran Khan’s dinner speeches because I had asked the nurse to turn off the TV because seeing your old house [prime minister’s house] would have aggravated your condition.

“I weep silently when I hear the media people saying that we have had more than our expectations from Saudi Arabia and the credit goes to Imran Khan. They are only saluting and praising Imran Khan.

“But my beloved Daddy, everyone is forgetting that all this is due to Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif. Why are they forgetting that you are the mastermind? After General Raheel Shareef retired as chief of army staff, you asked him to go to Saudi Arabia and become commander of the Islamic military, and he is the one who paved the way for this special relationship with Pakistan whose fruit Imran Khan is enjoying.

“When Imran Khan told MBS that there are some 3,000 Pakistani prisoners there and he just would like him to bear in mind that they are poor people who have left their families behind, I was expecting the prince to respond that why not do a fair exchange, we will free your prisoners and you free our beloved leader Nawaz Sharif and remove all charges against the Sharif family. But, no, instead MBS said that the Pakistani leadership is impressive and the country’s future seems quite bright.

“Not just that, MBS also told Imran Khan that he could consider him as the ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia.”

Shehbaz adds, “Really our Maryam is so smart and caring that she got the TV turned off. Truly it was heartbreaking what we heard. Not just $10 billion but projects of $21 billion were signed by MBS. Sadly, as Asif Zardari keeps reminding everyone that Imran is inexperienced, and all this money is going to be routed to projects when at least something should have gone into offshore accounts and real estate portfolios.”

Maryam interrupts, “You are absolutely right Uncle Shehbaz. Doesn’t Imran Khan have two sons? What is he doing for them?”

Nawaz murmurs again, “Oh, he has stopped caring for them because he knows their mother is so rich and they will get hundred of millions from her.

“But we were talking about prisoner exchange. I mean whatever names, we can call Gen. Musharraf but at least, he let us go to Saudi Arabia when King Abdullah requested him.

“Didn’t I tell you that this younger generation has no respect for their seniors? If it was old times, we would be sitting in a palace in Jeddah, once King Abdullah would have said ‘Let My Nawaz Sharif Go’.”

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