Islamabad - Workers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) believe that the prime minister had a narrow escape as they celebrated the ‘victory’ in the wake of the Panama case judgment on Thursday.

Dozens of PML-N workers gathered at Aabpara Chowk to celebrate their ‘victory’ while the half-hearted PTI workers sitting in their shops, did not know how to react on the judgment. Apparently dejected over the verdict, PTI workers; however, termed it their victory though their body language reflected otherwise.  PTI workers were dejected yet they termed it ‘beginning of the end’, adding PTI’s struggle has entered into next phase.

PML-N workers, not more than 50 in number, were holding placards in favour of their party head, Mian Nawaz Sharif who was respondent no 1 in the petitions. They chanted slogans and dispersed peacefully. The ruling PML-N didn’t arrange any activity at its central office here which remained locked all day long. However, only few dozen workers gathered at Aabpara to celebrate their victory. The ruling party show also went without the presence of any prominent political figure. The workers embraced each other in joy and distributed sweets apparently to mark their attendance; however, the gathering remained spiritless. Talking to The Nation, a PML-N worker Jamshed Ahmed said that today it has been proved that truth always prevail and the Supreme Court decision shows that PM and his family was clean.

“Though decision has acquitted our leadership but it was a narrow escape, as the bench was divided,” he observed.

Another supporter Mohammad Jamal said it is a historical decision by the court and finally the false episode of corruption charges levelled against PM and his family has concluded.

“Political rivals of PML-N have failed to prove in court corruption charges,” he said. Panama decision remained a hot subject of discussion in markets, restaurants and fast food outlets. Zohaib Khan, an employee at a private company said the court has not given clean chit to the PM and his family, as the two judges have given their note of dissent.

“The decision in favour of PTI even would not have changed the fate of common man,” he believed.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers present at the central office were expecting disqualification of the Prime Minister but met disappointment when the media teams hit television screens.

The party, famous for its public gathering had only a dozen workers at its central secretariat. No member from mainstream leadership was present at the office to accompany the workers. Talking to The Nation, PTI office-bearer Sibgatullah Virk said that today no key political activity was arranged in the office while few workers have gathered to hear the decision. “Decision is beginning of the end and struggle of PTI has entered into next phase,” he explained. He said that though it is difficult to comment on the decision but it is not very disappointing, as PM has been asked to face Joint Investigation Team. However, the workers were dejected over the court decision.

Gul Zeb Khan, a PTI worker told The Nation, “We lost the case but will stand by the party leadership. It is decision of the court not public,” he added. Samrah Khan, a PTI supporter expressing displeasure on the decision said that though the question has been raised on the income of PM’s family but, ‘he has been acquitted.’ “Change in status-quo is impossible until the people in power are convicted,” she said.

Meanwhile, additional security measures were taken in the federal capital on the occasion of Panamagate verdict. Rangers, police and personnel of Frontier Constabulary patrolled the city roads with special focus on the Red Zone. Important installations, particularly in the Red Zone were guarded and entry into the Red Zone was restricted to check unnecessary rush of political workers in and around the SC building. Around 1500 law-enforcement agencies’ personnel were deputed to control law and order situation and maintain peace in the city.



rahul basharat/tahir niaz