Credit Where Due: Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif deserves praise for the way that he has been handling his role as opposition leader. It is obvious that Mian Nawaz Sharif does not agree with the present government about everything. But the PML-N leader seems to be making a sincere effort to criticize the government when he feels necessary, and support when he sees it is correct. That is the proper role of opposition, not trying to topple the government for personal gain.

From supporting the 18th Amendment to speaking out for the rights of Ahmadis, Nawaz Sharif has been doing a good job of being more opposition leader and less political opportunist. He could easily have taken advantage of these controversies to make cynical political moves that were aimed at destabilizing the government rather than doing what is best for the country.

Let Us Build Pakistan provides a good collection of news reports about Mian Nawaz’s productive attitude. Very important, I think, is this quote from Dawn:

Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Thursday severely criticised the media, saying that it tolerated eight years of rule by a dictator but could not bear six months of an elected government.

If anything proves that Nawaz Sharif’s recent attitude is on the right track, it is the temper-tantrum thrown by Ansar Abbasi in The News today. Sounding like a spoilt child, Ansar claims that “Mian Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N remain unmoved as their revolutionary zeal has disappeared altogether.” But what Pakistan needs is not a new revolution. We need mature leaders who are more concerned with making some progress in the country and less concerned with tired slogans and the self-defeating politics of the 1980s and 1990s.

Ansar Abbasi’s claim that Nawaz is ‘indifferent’ and ‘doing nothing’ is nonsense, and everyone knows it. An opposition leader doesn’t have to behave like a petulant child in order to be effective. Actually, by being constructive and productive in his approach, Nawaz is doing far more for the country than he would if the media revolutionaries like Ansar Abbasi had their way and politics returned to being a case of mortal combat.

It is people like Ansar Abbasi who seem determined to cause problems instead of concentrating on finding solutions to the nation’s ills. Nawaz Sharif has certainly been a thorn in the side of the PPP government, but he has been doing so in a much more constructive way than in the past, and for this he deserves credit.

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