The Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Sharif and his family has been struggling to come up with answers against the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The most unbelievable task that the JIT has achieved was making authorities of British Virgin Islands, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) cooperate with it and provide it with all required information that it asked for.
Not many believed a foreign State would feel compelled to cooperate with a JIT of Pakistan on such a high-profile political case. Mr. Sharif and his cronies certainly thought it would not be possible. After all, the assistance under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) can be denied by a country for political reasons. Probing a corruption case against a sitting Prime Minister of a country certainly falls under that domain.
Although Mr. Sharif and his team was not wrong in reaching this conclusion, what they failed to factor into account was that if a country can deny assistance under MLAT for political reasons, it can very well choose not to block such assistance on the same political grounds. This is what they couldn’t contemplate, or maybe they played a gamble that didn’t go as well as they were hoping for.
The Sharif camp must have had a clear idea about their not so cordial relations with UAE as of late. The relationship is not what it once used to be. The Sheikhs of the tiny middle eastern states did not hide their displeasure when Pakistan refused to take part in the Yemen war. And, Pakistan’s refusal to take a clear stand against Qatar in the Saudi-led coalition’s attempt to force the country to agree to its terms, further inflamed the Sheikhs.
Nawaz Sharif’s hands were tied on both occasions though. On one hand it was the unanimous decision of the Pakistani parliament not to join Yemen war, and on other hand it was Qatar, whose prince was the sole trail leading to his multi million dollars flats in London.
Politically, it was indeed a life and death situation for Nawaz Sharif. He had to choose between two unfavorable options. With going against Qatar he risked immediate harm as the Prince, who is also a former prime minister of the country, could easily have recanted his earlier recollection, and simply said his recollections were wrong. With UAE, he could still bank on the unwritten law of trust. “They could not give up on Nawaz Sharif that easily”, his think-tank must have thought.
However, they probably couldn’t read Saudi’s King’s plan and simple words when he said, “you’re either with us or with Qatar”. Neutrality was never an option. UAE, a veritable arm of the Saudis, did decide to give up Nawaz Sharif.
Now the international conspiracy, in the eyes of the prime minister and his team, is that the UAE tried not to hide his secrets. They cooperated with JIT in an unprecedented way. “UAE government could have easily ignored JIT’s request for assistance if they wanted”, believes the the prime minister and his advisers according to a source familiar with the situation.