ISLAMABAD: The protocol accorded to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Friday at the Lahore Airport by provincial administration of the PML-N could pave the way to restore working ties between the federal and Punjab governments. Following the Supreme Court verdict of April 6 in which prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was disqualified, the two parties were at the loggerheads.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif who wasn’t in the metropolis on the day directed the provincial administration to accord the PM due protocol. The gesture has been appreciated by the federal government. The PML-N, too, is eagerly keen to see a thaw in ties with the federal government gracefully since its isolation as PTI is causing great disquiet to it. The ‘improvement’ in the relations has become more visible as Nawaz Sharif has suddenly halted his tirades against the PPP and suspended visiting Sindh to create a dent in the PPP’s stronghold. Similar sudden ‘ceasefire’ was seen from the ranks of the PPP these days, which is exercising restraint in taking on the PML-N.
The leaders of PML-Q were also present at Lahore airport. The two ruling parties had smelled serious threat at the hands of the PTI and they were considering coming closer before the next polls. Governor Punjab Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa, who is known for PML-N bashing, has also been advised by his leadership to stay calm. The PM’s tone and tenor in Lahore was also different from the line that was being followed previously. It could be an indication of bigger and broader future understanding.