– PML-N huddle discusses delimitations bill, elections, mass contact drive
-Ayaz complains about lack of quorum in NA proceedings
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leaders on Monday reposed confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and advised him to shun the use of strong language against the state institutions, especially military and judiciary, and rather adopt a conciliatory path to avoid any trouble before the Senate elections.
The huddle held at Punjab House was attended by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Raja Zafarul Haq, Tariq Fatemi, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Mushahidullah Khan, Pervez Rasheed, Hamza Shehbaz among others.
Sources in the ruling party informed Pakistan Today that the meeting decided to jointly work for evolving the issue of new delimitations amicably before November 10, so that the new elections could be held on the basis of new voters’ lists. The meeting also decided that the party’s parliamentary meeting would soon pass a resolution to express confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, the sources said.
Regarding the difficulties faced by the government in getting the delimitation bill passed from the assembly, Law Minister Zahid Hamid shared concerns with the members, saying the party lawmakers failed to maintain the quorum in the assembly, which had happened a number of times. He told the meeting that initially all parliamentary leaders had vowed to support the delimitations bill; however, a day later leaders of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) refused to support the bill.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq also informed the former premier regarding the status of pending legislation in the assembly and accused the lawmakers for lack of interest in the proceedings of the house. The meeting also decided to start political consultations to bring the political parties on the same page over delimitations bill, the source said. Amid criticism on ministers being absent from the assembly proceedings, the former prime minister also expressed concerns and directed “the party leaders to consult with the coalition partners to ensure maximum participation in the future sessions of the assembly,” the source said.
Nawaz was also advised to launch a mass political drive to counter Imran Khan, as he was taking advantage of the vacuum created due to the absence of other political parties.
The source further told Pakistan Today that the party decided to fight back in the political field and decided to start a new series of public meetings where the party leaders would target the leadership of PTI and PPP to regain the media attention.
ALLIES ADVISE SHARIF TO SHUN CONFRONTATIONAL POLITICS: Ahead of formal consultation process among the top leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), almost all the coalition partners advised Nawaz Sharif to shun the confrontational path against state institution in favour of conciliatory politics.
However, the chief of Pashtuknhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mahmood Khan Achakzai urged Nawaz to intensify his criticism against the military establishment during his planned mass contact campaign, as it would help him regain popularity and build pressure on institutions, said a senior PML-N leader while exclusively talking to Pakistan Today.
“PML-F chief Pir Pagaro, JUI-F President Fazlur Rehman, National Party head Mir Hasil Bizenjo and PML-Zia president Ijazul Haq, however, advised Nawaz Sharif against it. They advised the former premier to adopt tactical move and bridge misunderstandings,” the source said.
The source added that the coalition partners had been approached by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who conveyed the input to elder Sharif.
When contacted, Ijazul Haq confirmed that the coalition partners [except PkMAP] had advised Nawaz Sharif to opt for a conciliatory path rather than confrontation.
“I have told Mian sahib that he enjoys the stature of a statesman now. Having served thrice as prime minister, he should not be running after petty interests and offices,” he said, adding the government must not pursue controversial laws like amendment in Article 203.
He said the government was not in a position to get any constitutional amendment passed from both houses of parliament. “The ruling party stands nowhere, as many times in recent sessions, the ruling party failed to maintain quorum; in this state what is there to talk about getting constitutional amendments passed. In Senate, the government already lacks a majority and they can’t get passed legislation like 24th Constitutional Amendment Bill, Census and delimitation bill, etc.,” he maintained.