Sharif agenda: Gilani caves in to opposition demands

Published: January 10, 2011
PML-N withdraws deadline, gives ruling party 45 days to implement reforms; MQM welcomes the decision.

PML-N withdraws deadline, gives ruling party 45 days to implement reforms; MQM welcomes the decision.


The government has steered its way out of choppy political waters by holding out promises of economic and administrative reforms and acceding to the main opposition party’s demands.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced at a news conference on Sunday that his government had accepted a raft of demands made by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

“I have told Mian Sahib (Nawaz Sharif) that we are positive about his demands and he replied, ‘if you are positive then we will not part ways with your party in Punjab’,” Gilani told the media after spending a hectic day calling almost all national leaders. “It is the national agenda now. We have to work together to guide the country out of crises.”

Sharif’s party immediately withdrew the deadline it had set the government following the prime minister’s pledge. However, another deadline looms for the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Now Gilani’s party has to keep its pledge and fulfill the demands within 45 days.

The PML-N is in no mood to ease up just yet. Its leaders cautioned that they would keep a close eye on the implementation of the reforms.

Both Gilani and a PML-N spokesperson said that a three-member committee led by Senator Ishaq Dar would coordinate with the government on how to go ahead with the implementation of the reform agenda proposed by Sharif.

The latest conciliatory gesture on the part of the government comes on the heels of last week’s reversal of a fuel price hike – a key concession aimed at winning over estranged ally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Sharif’s party had also wanted fuel prices to remain unchanged. Along with that PML-N had called upon the government to probe corruption cases, reduce non-development spending by one third, and set up an independent election body.

The government briefly lost its slender majority in parliament after the MQM pulled out of the ruling coalition following a similar defection by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

“I have also called Maulana Fazlur Rehman and whether he rejoins the government, well, it is his prerogative, his own politics,” Gilani said when asked if he had invited the JUI-F to rejoin the ruling coalition.

Dar, a former finance minister, told a television channel that he would recommend a slimmed down version of the government to curtail non-development expenditures.

Referring to the politicians he had spoken to, Gilani said the response from other political leaders including Pakistan Muslim League-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and MQM’s Altaf Hussain was also positive.

A statement by the MQM from its Karachi media office said Hussain had welcomed Gilani’s gesture of accepting PML-N’s demands and voiced hope it would auger well for the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Ehsan Haq
    Jan 9, 2011 - 4:51PM

    Political Gimmickry !!!!!!??????Recommend

  • parvez
    Jan 9, 2011 - 5:14PM

    The old classic came to mind (with minor changes) :
    Fool me once and fool me twice,
    And fool me once again.
    It’s been a short, short time.
    So baby, fool me once again.Recommend

  • Jan 9, 2011 - 5:46PM

    Great move towards democracy Recommend

  • aamir hussain
    Jan 9, 2011 - 6:02PM

    nice gesture. bravo nawaz sharifRecommend

  • Jan 9, 2011 - 6:39PM

    A picture is worth thousand of words, good job tribune :)Recommend

  • Bashir A. Malik
    Jan 9, 2011 - 6:40PM

    PM Gilani’s acceptnce of Nawaz Sharif eems to be another of patent PPP evasive tactic to buy time. And at end of the day to tell Sharif that agreements are not like Ayat-e-Qurani of Hadith thay cannot be broken.One can already read it wrfit on the face of Gilani in the top picture the way hdee is shown laughing condescendinly on Sharif as if a senior consoling a juniortells him ok as your wish. But he may have no intention to oblige. Unfortunately Sharif has a weakness for being prone to such phony commitments. Bashir A. Malik Recommend

  • Jan 9, 2011 - 7:07PM

    What is the agenda Nawaz Sharif and his ruling party PMLN running in Punjab, the GDP of Punjab during Musharraf regime was 7.2 %, now Punjab is defaulter of billions of rupees from centerRecommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jan 9, 2011 - 7:30PM

    PPP government’s yes to Mian Sahib is nothing more than to fool him once again. Government knows that in present circustances no one has courage to take responsibilty. During last few weeks, it was great opportunity for opposition to topple government but no one took initiative. Even our great warriors, who never miss such opportunity, (rather create one), made sure that know one invites them. Recommend

  • MAD
    Jan 9, 2011 - 7:39PM

    Yipppeeeeeeee………the Government just bought itself another couple of months :)Recommend

  • Optimistic
    Jan 9, 2011 - 8:29PM

    Second you Yasser it was a true pic of feelings too. but at the same time i think we all should give credit to PMLN for not throwing the govt even though they had a chance. This sys democracy should be moving and thats what all we wantRecommend

  • Fawad
    Jan 9, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Good JokeRecommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jan 9, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Presidency and Prime Minister Houses have become Bhoot Banglas. Residents of these places know that outsiders are too scared to enter and clean it up. We know after lapse of forty five days, what will happen…Nothing.Recommend

  • abrar hussain
    Jan 9, 2011 - 9:54PM

    Congratulations Mr. Gilani you secure your government…… But what became of the assassination of Salman Taseer?Recommend

  • Arsalan
    Jan 9, 2011 - 10:21PM

    Puraanay Shikari naya jaal laye

    Allah hum subb per Rehm karay………………………………Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jan 9, 2011 - 10:40PM

    PPP is doing the right job by talking with coalition partners and accepting their demands in the national interest. Recommend

  • Maria
    Jan 9, 2011 - 10:53PM

    Once again, the people can breathe a sigh of relief since it appears that our political parties are starting to understand that the best way forward and to build democracy is by working together. Yes they should fight their individual agendas like parties do all over the world but at the end of the day, they need to do what’s best for Pakistan. Perhaps our leaders have started to develop some maturity.Perhaps the PPP government is just fooling the PML N but then again politics is a changing game the world over. Politicians the world over make empty promises anyways. As for Yasser’s description of Punjab’s GDP under Musharraf’s dictatorship, no one believes the concocted figures from his era because they were subsequently revealed to be phoney. If anything, PML N in Punjab enjoys the support of the masses because of the work they have done in uplifting the province since Musharraf’s departure. Now there are companies such as 5 Rivers who are world renowned in computer applications.Recommend

  • Yousaf
    Jan 9, 2011 - 11:21PM

    PPP had never kept its promises so why should Mr. Gilani be trusted now. I think Nawaz Sharif will again bite dust. As they say”once bitten twice shy” but for Nawaz Sharif it can be said “always bitten but never shy” means his calculations have ever been wrong.Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Jan 10, 2011 - 12:32AM

    A continuation of the same old dog and pony show.Recommend

    Jan 10, 2011 - 3:43AM

    i am sure after these demands of pml-n have been met new demands will crop up,and then new demands..there will be no end to the demands, simply to tease the ever buck up are great.

  • Ali Turk
    Jan 10, 2011 - 7:47AM

    Mr Nawaz Shariff is in for another surprise.

    There is a saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    How many times has PML(N) been fooled?

    But I hope in interest of the masses some of the issues on table are resolved and there is an economic turnaround as a resultRecommend

  • Jan 10, 2011 - 9:32AM

    So government finally made itself survive again. Recommend

  • Sabir Shah Hoti
    Jan 10, 2011 - 9:37AM

    *Nawaz hypocracy is once again……..*Recommend

  • Moiz Khan Saifi
    Jan 10, 2011 - 9:47AM

    How can people trust them after seeing them in their highs and lows, clean them out if you want your country to progress and flourish Recommend

  • Yousuf
    Jan 10, 2011 - 10:00AM

    I grew up watching these people do what they are doing right now. And so far it has not worked, but we’ve still got our fingers crossed. =)Recommend

  • Khan
    Jan 10, 2011 - 11:14AM

    Well planned drama of both parties to rule the country and i am sure in these type of Dead Lines they will complete their tenure in LAHORE & ISLAMABAD..

    Just a relastic question fm Media People (who are well aware) Is Gilani can dare ( Jurat) to remove Rehaman malick or babar awan or any other minsters fm his cabent who are close to Zardari .. another if Gilani can open the SWISS cases against Zardari ? any one can dream but not can hapen in reality .. so these end result is that it is just drama of both parties to make fool the people of Pakistan .. We have just now in Pakistan only Hope fm our Great Allah .. otherwise these PAKISTANI leaders or Estiblishment is just to make paki ppl poor and poor ….

    we hope these dramas will be contiune for next election between PPP nd PML (N) .. Wait and see another Dead line ? Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Jan 10, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is said that in the time of need and difficulty you have say “Father” to donkey and this is the time need and difficulty for PPPP’s leaders and they must have to accept PMLN’s 9 or 10 agenda just to secure and protect the present corrupt and most worst ever democratic system and this deal has been done between Nawaz Sharif and BB in England that first your turn then ours.Recommend

    Jan 10, 2011 - 11:42AM

    Politicians playing their cricket as usual while the ‘silent majority’ continues to sleep…..Recommend

  • Shoaib
    Jan 10, 2011 - 4:19PM

    Gillani is becoming a characterless and shameful personality, I used to like him and the speeches when he was elected or selected the prime minister, but now Its confirmed that he is no more then a puppet.

    Our current politicians can do anything to remain in power. It really sucks.Recommend

  • AM
    Jan 10, 2011 - 7:53PM

    I just have a very simple question to ask. Is there any one looking for the best interests of the country and its suffering population or are we just focused on “kursi”?

    This is such a bad turn of events; this compromise on easing oil prices because now we will have to print more money and see higher inflation. Guys, this movie has already been played; its titled Zimbabwe. I hope we don’t get there but all indications are that we will (soon).

    May God bless Pakistan and its valiant folks!Recommend

  • Hina Iqbal
    Jan 10, 2011 - 9:38PM

    The PML-N is not yet ready for elections, which remains a serious indictment of the largest opposition party in parliament; it has no assurance of a victory were it to enter elections with its current organisational structure. The party has not worked at potential partners in the increasing likelihood of another coalition government even if polls are held full-term. It has rather serious fence-mending to do, which will remain a serious inhibitor. Its leadership was absent when the going was tough for the nation and the resulting despondence may yet surprise the party further in an electoral exercise. Implicitly all that reservoir of multifaceted intellect in the party has remained untapped even as the nation has continued to suffer. There has never been a programme offered by the party for masses’ relief from manifold predicaments. The party is instead seen to have played opportunistic politics and used issues such as Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) and petroleum prices to whip up frenzy, without offering a practical way out to jump-start the economy. Recommend

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