Tuesday May 28, 2024

PML-N likely to stay away from disgruntled PTI lawmakers

By Noor Aftab
April 19, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is likely to stay away from a group of disgruntled lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), considering them ‘unable to take decisions at their own,’ sources told The News here on Saturday.

A senior PML-N member who requested anonymity told this correspondent that “We have an understanding that the rebel group of PTI’s lawmakers are still waiting for a signal from some side to decide about their future course of action.”

“These people are in a fix whether they should go against the PTI government or continue to back it because they know they are not supposed to decide it at their own,” he said. He said: “If they go against the PTI government then we have a clear-cut policy that we will not become part of any political change whether in the Centre or in the Punjab province with the help of those lawmakers who are believed to be backed by the establishment.”

Sources in the PML-N said “It is an open secret that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) wanted a change in the Punjab with the help of PML-N, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and disgruntled members of the ruling PTI, adding: “The message of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was very ‘loud and clear’ that his party would never ever support any political change that would be engineered by the ‘non-democratic’ forces.”

They said when Nawaz Sharif and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz refused to support the PPP-devised ‘Punjab formula’, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari directly held a meeting with PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif in the Kot Lakhpat Jail.

“Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was given permission to meet Shahbaz Sharif on a short notice and gates of Kot Lakhpat jail were opened for him. Even the members of the PML-N are not given any such treatment when they seek permission to have a meeting with Shahbaz Sharif,” the sources said.

They claimed Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also held a meeting with two Lahore -based PML-N’s senior members but all these efforts proved futile because Nawaz Sharif was not ready to change his stance over the role of ‘powerful quarters’ in the political field.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan kept himself away from Nawaz Sharif when he raised slogan of ‘Give Respect to Vote’ and initiated a three-day caravan from Islamabad to Lahore after his disqualification by the superior court in the Panama case in July 2017.

Another senior PML-N member told this correspondent that “Nawaz Sharif believes that Jahangir Khan Tareen is not a free man and he cannot take political decisions at his own will.”

When asked to explain it, he said: “The PML-N believes that Jahangir Khan Tareen and all lawmakers of his like-minded group are loyal to the ‘powerful quarters’ and they don’t take political decisions at their own.”

“So we cannot join hands with Jahangir Khan Tareen or his supporters who are backed by some other forces. We will not become part of any change that will be backed by ‘non-democratic’ forces,” he said.

The sources said fresh entry of PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen in the political scenario has made no difference for the PML-N that still believes that power politics backed by the establishment would not help achieve its political targets.

The sources privy to the latest developments in the ranks of PML-N told this correspondent that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif enhanced his contacts with the senior party members as he chaired a number of party meetings in the last few weeks.

They said Nawaz Sharif while speaking in a recent party meeting through a video link predicted that the people of Pakistan would not be able to hold patience for a longer period and they would finally come to the streets against the poor performance of the present government.

“Nawaz Sharif and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz think that PML-N is currently the most popular party in Punjab and can make a clean sweep from this province in fresh general elections,” he sources said.

PPP spokesperson Shazia Marri told The News that “We got numerical strength in the Senate election for Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and we can do it also in the Punjab province. PPP wants to move no-confidence motions against the Punjab and the federal governments but it needs support from other opposition parties.”

This correspondent contacted the personal secretary of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and sent him couple of questions regarding efforts to bring change in the Punjab province. But no answer was given to those questions till the filing of this story.

Similarly, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb neither attended phone calls nor gave reply to the text messages.