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Saturday May 18, 2024

PML-N cautious but convinced about ‘Khursheed formula’

By Noor Aftab
November 02, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Some senior members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have asked former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to give a serious thought to the ‘Khursheed Shah formula” that would ensure end of the Imran-led government and early general elections in the country, reliable sources told The News here on Monday.

Sources confided to this correspondent that at least two top senior members of the PML-N one in Pakistan and the other one in London have asked Nawaz Sharif to seriously think about the “Khursheed Shah formula” because it could greatly help achieve their political targets. The PML-N sources said the PMLN leadership had already discussed a somewhat similar political plan in August this year during a party meeting that was attended by almost all senior members.

“When Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah presented a political formula to get rid of the Imran-led government and hold next general elections, the majority of PML-N members found it quite similar to their earlier plan,” the sources said, adding that Nawaz Sharif would hold a party meeting in next two weeks that would be attended by the senior party members through video link. “Nawaz Sharif will get input from the senior party members regarding the ‘Khursheed Shah formula’ before taking any decision about it. The decision is likely to be taken after developing consensus within the party,” the sources said.

The sources maintained that the PML-N wants electoral reforms and early elections and the ‘Khursheed Shah formula’ suits their plans but there are two main issues that can act as a stumbling block lack of trust in the PPP and developing new understanding with the powerful establishment. They said if the new prime minister is elected from the PPP, who would give surety that he would dissolve the National Assembly and announce general elections because only public commitment would not be enough in this respect.

“PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif signed an agreement in March 2008 to restore deposed judges of the superior courts. But later, Zardari ‘comfortably’ backed out of this agreement due to which the PMLN parted ways with the coalition government,” the sources said, adding that if the PMLN agrees to this formula, it would have to give ‘enough’ space to the powerful establishment that according to it pushed its party leadership into troubled waters. They claimed that Nawaz Sharif is personally not ready to forget the role played by the powerful quarters in the alleged political victimization of the Sharif family in last many years.

The sources said there is an opinion within the party that Nawaz Sharif should look forward and forget what happened in the past, adding that some senior members also maintain that the PML-N government instead of forgetting the past registered a case in 2013 against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution that according to them brought bad days to their party.

Talking to The News, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said: “We know if the opposition parties move a no-confidence motion, the Imran-led government will use the Intelligence Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency, the police and other state machinery against them. I tell you if the key state institution stays neutral, we have a solution for the tactics of this government and a plan to pass no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly.”

To a question, he said: “I do not accept that the state institutions were neutral in the no-confidence motion against former Balochistan chief minister Jam Kamal Khan. If the country is run according to the Constitution, the democratic moves like a no-confidence motion can be pursued in the parliament. If this never happens, the country will continue to move towards a big disaster.” To another question, he said:

“There is a simple way to test both the PPP and the state institutions and it is a no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. It will tell us the whole story whether the PPP is sincere and key institutions are not making interventions in the political field.”