PML-N hints at agitation movement

Sanaullah says they cannot stop party workers from coming out on the road

Rameez Khan December 22, 2018
NAB could not present any evidence, proving that he had established Al-Azizia or the Hill Metal, Nawaz maintains. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif would attend the accountability court in Islamabad on December 24, where Judge Arshad Malik would announce the verdict in two National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against him, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Leader Rana Sanaullah said on Friday.

He said that party had no plans to stage any sit-ins or take out any protest on that day, even if the decision went against Sharif but warned that the party was unable to control its workers if they resorted to any agitation.

“We cannot stop party supporters from coming out on the road, but officially there is no plan for taking out any rallies or anything,” the senior PML-N leader told The Express Tribune, while responding to a query about the party’s protest plans if Sharif was arrested.

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“The party, in fact, is gearing up for a mass-contact drive from December30 to re-organise the party workers. On that day the party will hold a convention to celebrate the Foundation Day of the Muslim League foundation to kick-start its drive,” Sana, a PML-N member of the National Assembly, said.

When pressed further if the party was gearing up for elections or for a possible agitation movement, he said the way situation was shaping up, an agitation seemed imminent. “The PML-N is preparing for it,” he said.

The former Punjab law minister said that the opposition parties, mainly the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), might not join them because of their own compulsions.

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“Even with both the senior leaders [Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif] behind bars, the party’s advisory board of five to six people will take care of party’s day-to-day affairs,” he said. However, he clarified that the board will not take decisions on its own rather it would consult Nawaz Sharif first.

Earlier, the PML-N held another high-level meeting, in Parliament House on Friday. Party President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif presided over the meeting, which lasted for more than two and a half hours.

According to senior party leaders, the meeting was in continuation to Thursday’s meeting and it discussed the re-organisation of the party. There was an informal discussion of NAB court’s decision on December 24, they added.

“Both these meetings discussed the party’s reorganisation and the mass contact drive,” former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said. He added that the party had two plans for December 24 -- celebrations if the decision comes in favor, otherwise the plan is to express disappointment.

He said that party supporters would react in case of Sharif was arrested, but the party leaders would ensure that reaction did not become violent. “There is no plan to stage any protest or sit-in. No plan to take out any mega rally or anything,” he added.


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