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Return of Shehbaz

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The writer is Executive Director News, Express News, and Executive Editor of The Express Tribune. He tweets @fahdhusain and can be reached at [email protected]

They said he had run scared. They said he would never return. They said his game was over.

They were wrong.

Shehbaz Sharif returns to Pakistan today after spending a month in London. It was a long month for him and his party. It was also a long month for his opponents who wasted no opportunity in rejoicing at his “escape” as they termed it. For them his absence from the country meant a vindication of their claims that the Sharifs would prefer to flee into exile rather than face the long arm of the law.

As far as the PTI was concerned, Nawaz was not expected to come back from London to face jail. He did. Shehbaz was not expected to come back from London to face jail. He did. Did their opponents miscalculate?

Not really?

Everyone knew if the Sharifs preferred exile to resistance their politics would suffer grievous damage. Exile was never an option. PTI spokesmen have always known this and yet their interests demanded that they kept peddling this narrative for as long as this narrative could be peddled. Today, with the return of Shehbaz, this narrative expires.

This in itself is not that big a deal. In the age we live in, narratives are easy to weave and easier to disseminate. What is a bit more difficult is to figure out who is standing where in the game of power. With Shehbaz back in Pakistan, this question will raise its........

© The Express Tribune