The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leadership decided at a meeting in Murree that they will continue to seek the cooperation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) despite their partial patch-up with the government, keeping hopes of a proposed ‘grand opposition alliance’ alive.
“We will continue to observe their (MQM’s) behaviour during the upcoming sessions of parliament… if they live up to our expectations, we won’t mind working with them as a joint opposition. We still want their cooperation,” said a source, citing a party decision.
The meeting, presided over by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, was held on Wednesday to discuss a number of issues, including last week’s escape of a party’s lawmaker from the custody of Islamabad police, embarrassing the party.
The PML-N leadership decided to avoid ‘public posturing’ against the MQM.
The meeting also decided to serve a show-cause notice on its National Assembly member from Islamabad, Anjum Aqeel, who ran away from police custody with the help of some armed sympathisers.
The party leadership has not yet taken any decision whether to expel Aqeel or force him to tender resignation.
As many as eight local party workers who allegedly helped Aqeel run from a police station have already been expelled.
A disciplinary committee Sharif formed to investigate Aqeel’s episode issued a notice, asking the MNA to explain why it took him 24 hours to surrender once his supporters took him away from the police custody.
According to a statement by the party’s media office, the four-member committee also asked Anjum to elaborate “by the end of this month” reasons for his arrest and facts about his alleged involvement in the National Police Foundation land case.
Although the committee has already submitted a report on the whole affair, the delay is raising doubts if the party would ever punish the parliamentarian.
Some of the party members who attended the Murree meeting told The Express Tribune that Nawaz Sharif did not want to immediately suspend contacts with the MQM leadership and other parties for the formation of a ‘grand opposition alliance’.
He also directed his party leaders not to issue any hostile statement against the MQM and Jamiat Ulamae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), another group Sharif wanted to join his anti-government alliance.
The meeting also reviewed arrangements for the PML-N workers’ convention likely to be held later this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ