The unification bloc in the Punjab Assembly has been mounting pressure on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to oust the PPP from the provincial cabinet.
A source in the unification bloc – which consists of MPAs of the PML-Q – told Pakistan Today that the group was urging the PML-N to show the door to the PPP at the earliest, as a further delay could spoil relations between the PML-N and the unification bloc.
He said a majority of MPAs affiliated with the bloc had already grown desperate with the PML-N’s provincial government, as it had backtracked from its commitment made during last year’s governor rule of including the unification bloc in the provincial cabinet.
“We are being lured by the Chaudhrys of the PML-Q, as well as the PPP since long, but the unification bloc is not going to ditch the PML-N,” he said. “But the Shahbaz-led Punjab government is not giving due consideration to the bloc’s reservations and recommendations.”
The source said the Punjab government’s apathy towards the unification bloc, which had the strength of around 55 MPAs, had disturbed the bloc’s members and if the same attitude continued, “they can rejoin the Chaudhrys or strike a deal with the PPP”.
“The ambitions of the PPP and the Chaudhrys to form a coalition government in Punjab have not died down as yet,” he added. Parliamentary leader of the unification bloc, Dr Tahir Ali Javed, said the PML-N would be the eventual loser if its artificial alliance with the PPP continued.
“This alliance should end as soon as possible,” he said, adding that just before the next polls, the “PPP will try to become a martyr through deeds that will force the PML-N to oust it from the Punjab government”. Dr Tahir Javed said it would be better for the PML-N to save the country at the cost of a provincial government, adding that Shahbaz was surrounded by “sycophants”.
“People are not happy with the PML-N, as its has failed to address their grievances. The Punjab government has neglected health and education sectors and no mega project has been initiated so far,” he said. Asked to comment on the PML’s unification ambitions, Javed said the PML-N would never join smaller factions of the PML. He said the unification bloc would not join any PML alliance without (PML-N chief) Nawaz Sharif.