Leagues won’t move against PM, for now

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ISLAMABAD – Deciding not to move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Tuesday threw the ball in Gilani’s court by giving him a 72-hour deadline to accept or reject the proposals put forward by the party for improving governance.
The deadline, however, would start after the three-day mourning announced by the government for slain Punjab governor. Addressing a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Central Organising Committee, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said if the prime minister was removed, it would not make any difference, as an equally weak person would replace him.
However, Nawaz said that if the prime minister did not give positive response to implement the party’s proposal, a strong government with a “fresh mandate” would be the only solution to the present crises. “We have decided to give a three-day ultimatum to the prime minister to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to our proposed interim agenda.
If the prime minister accepts our demands, the government will have to implement it within 45 days and the PML-N would support him in its execution,” he said, clearly suggesting that the PML-N was in no mood to move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister who had already lost majority.
He said if the government failed to translate the PML-N’s proposed agenda into reality by February 20, the PML-N would take other opposition parties on board on the agenda. “If other opposition parties do not agree to our agenda, a stronger government would be needed through a fresh mandate to implement it,” he said.
Nawaz said he was putting forward a shorter form of the PML-N’s agenda to the government for implementation within 45 days keeping in view the government’s weakness. “If the government, after accepting our agenda, fails to implement it by February 20, the PML-N will oust PPP from the Punjab government,” he announced.
“If the prime minister expresses his inability to implement the PML-N’s demands in three days, a select committee of the party will engage opposition parties into negotiations on the agenda,” he said. Sharing the points of his “shorter” agenda, especially crafted for the government for implementation within 45 days, he asked the government to reverse the hike in petrol price forthwith and formulate a people-friendly gas, electricity and petrol pricing mechanism.
“The government should end gas and electricity load shedding and sack all corrupt ministers and other government officials,” he said. Nawaz demanded the government immediately check inflation. “The government must implement the SC verdict on NRO in true letter and spirit. Besides completing ECP’s composition, the government must reduce the cabinet’s size,” he demanded. The PML-N chief asked the government to bring all culprits of the Haj, NICL, Steel Mills and Bank of Punjab scams to book.
He demanded the government establish an independent accountability commission and recover all politically written-off loans. “The government will have to cut government expenses by 30 percent and also safeguard the country’s integrity and sovereignty,” he added.