LAHORE - The decision of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan and face charges in court is of great political importance; something that will strengthen his political position.

This will also give credence to political elements’ claim that politicians respect courts more than the military dictators. Perhaps Nawaz Sharif has realised that by staying away from the courts, his GT Road narrative is weakening, which according to him, has been vindicated by the voters of NA-120.

However, he may face imprisonment due to his decision as NAB’s counsel will again appeal to the court for his arrest warrants, and there is a likelihood that this time the request is entertained.

The PML-N is already ruling Centre, Punjab and Balochistan, and by virtue of the bill passed by the Senate, which will easily sail through the National Assembly, Nawaz will again become his party’s chief and strengthen his grip on power. That will lessen the sufferings of imprisonment, but Nawaz and his party will bear in mind that in the presence of the material provided by JIT, a supervisory judge, and retirement of the NAB chairman on Oct 10, who has relatively soft corner for them, it would not be easy for them to defend themselves.

And now MQM-P and PTI are planning to bring their joint opposition leader in the National Assembly, and if that happens the authority to appoint new NAB chairman will be taken away from PPP.

If Nawaz Sharif has taken a final decision to return, this will give a new lease of life to political institutions. Another question that will arise, if Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif can appear in the court, then why not former dictator Pervez Musharraf.

As mentioned earlier, if Nawaz Sharif had not decided to return, the defence he had presented on GT Road could have suffered a blow. However, now political taunts may turn into following.