The Pakistani forces’ involvement in Kashmir and the West of Afghanistan in 1999, along with the country’s economic problems, gradually decreased the popularity of Nawaz Sharif among the people.
Featured image: Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The generals of the Pakistan Army overthrew Nawaz Sharif government by the command of Pervez Musharraf. The quiet coup was done without any general opposition and Nawaz Sharif’s Cabinet also took a neutral stand till he lonely be tried.
The Pakistani military court quickly sentenced Sharif to life imprisonment for kidnapping, attempt to murder, airplane hijacking and financial corruption. But with Saudi and American pressures, the verdict which was supposed to be execution changed to life imprisonment and then to 10 years exile in Saudi Arabia.
Nawaz went to Jeddah, where he set up a steel mill with facilities provided by the Saudi government. Later, Musharraf remembers in his memoirs that Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Fahd were the ones who saved Nawaz Sharif from death.
Since 2006, Nawaz’s effort to return to power began until 2007, the Pakistani court allowed the return of Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz to Pakistan. At the first attempt to enter Pakistan, Nawaz was not successful and was sent back to Saudi Arabia.
But for the second time, with mediation and pressure from Saudi Arabia, he was able to enter the country through Lahore, and this time, with the direct support of the Saudis, Nawaz Sharif became prime minister.
But however, Nawaz Sharif was not a good guy and could not rule the Pakistani army and make absolutely subject the army to himself.
Saudi Arabia without knowledge of Islamabad, declared Pakistan as the member of Arabic coalition and Decisive Storm Operation and ordered to Nawaz Sharif to join Saudi-led coalition attack on Yemen and put Pakistan’s air, military, Navy and sea forces at Riyadh’s disposal for Yemen war.
But Nawaz Sharif faced with the severe resistance of Army, public opinion and parliament and failed to execute King Salman‘s direct order. Therefore, in the declaration of Pakistan’s position Nawaz Sharif was forced to emphasize the need for a peaceful solution to the Yemeni crisis.
Nawaz Sharif has practically rejected Saudi’s request from Pakistan to join the coalition attack on Yemen and relations between Nawaz Sharif and Mohammad Bin Salman have deteriorated sharply.
The great effort of Nawaz Sharif to prove his complicity with Riyadh led to agree on the dispatch of General Raheel Sharif, Pakistan Army chief, to take over the command of the Arab coalition in the war against Yemen in the past May.
Many experts were unanimous that Saudi dollars have caused widespread Riyadh influence in the Cabinet of Pakistan, and at least the prime minister in addition to four ministers monthly receive a salary from the Saudi embassy in Islamabad, which has led the Pakistan occasionally plays the role of the Riyadh colony. It caused that the independence and People’s identity in Pakistan have nothing to do with Islamabad’s behaviors.
American strategists have a proverb for describing Pakistani officials and army: Pakistani officials are purchasable and Pakistani army is for rent.
In The 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis, King Salman officially informed Nawaz Sharif through Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Islamabad to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar without the passing of time.
This command placed Nawaz Sharif in a severe crisis, so to revision of King Salman’s order, he went to Riyadh twice on the dates of 12/06/2017 and 19/06/2017 (Under the pretext of Hajj), until Malek Salman exempts him from this order, because Nawaz Sharif has been able to reject accusations in the leaked documents of the Panama Papers with the help of the Qatari prince’s letter as a documentary to provide his financial source.
In addition to the army, the deep influence of the Brotherhood’s thinking in Pakistan prevented the execution of King Salman’s order.
It will be humiliating for the independence and history of a nation, if it becomes known that the prime minister of the country personally owes to Qatar in getting a donation (bribe), in addition to Saudi Arabia.
Nawaz Sharif’s renewed refusal to execute Riyadh’s orders caused to cut his relationship with Mohammad Bin Salman, who has taken all the power in Riyadh.
With a cut in Riyadh’s support of Nawaz Sharif and the diminution of Al-Saud’s support shadow of from Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani army simply removed him from the scene, under the pretext of Panama’s financial record.
However, Nawaz Sharif completely put his country at Riyadh’s disposal in a 9-year period and Riyadh’s interests are preferred Islamabad’s interests. Pakistan ignored its strategic interests due to the plundering of its authorities in Saudi dollars.
Of course, Riyadh’s influence in Islamabad is in a wide range. With the removal of Nawaz Sharif, we should not expect any change in approaches, but the question is whether public opinion and Pakistani elites have value for their independence, cultural and territorial identity or not?
This article was originally published by Modern Ghana.