Authorities in Punjab are under “strict orders” to complete major ongoing projects by October to pave way for the Pakistan Muslim League-N to use all options, including dissolving the assembly before Senate elections in March next year.
These instructions are learnt to have been issued verbally by the top leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-N.
A party source said that PML-N top leaders had agreed to use “all options to topple the PPP government “well before Senate elections”.
“We have options, including launching a mass movement by using the judicial card and provoking mass resignations in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies,” the PML-N leader told The Express Tribune.
“We are much concerned about the next Senate elections, and want to block the PPP’s way from making another clean sweep in the upper house of parliament,” he said.
He said that if “they (the PPP) succeeded in holding Senate elections, it would create problems for us in making legislations in the coming years”.
According to him, the PML-N leadership had decided to launch a mass movement soon after Eid. He said that the party leaders intended to exploit PPP weaknesses, including non-implementation of Supreme Court orders and the law and order situation in Karachi and Balochistan “inside and outside parliament”. “We believe that rampant corruption and non-implementation of Supreme Court orders would (be enough for us to) sweep the PPP government (off its feet),” he said.
He said that over time, the PML-N would also try to form an alliance of other like-minded political parties against the PPP government.
“There is a high possibility of a coalition with the Jamaat-i-Islami, whose street power will be beneficial for a mass movement,” the PML-N leader said.
He acknowledged that a coalition with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was also possible as the situation in Karachi was “getting out of control and could soon further escalate”.
When asked what would his party do if the PPP holds by-elections on seats vacated by resignations prompted by the PML-N, the party stalwart said that such a strategy would be countered with an effective mass movement, adding that it would be disastrous for the PPP.
When called to confirm the PML-N leader’s assertions, Senator Pervaz Rasheed, the party’s spokesperson for the Punjab government, said that even if there were such verbal instructions, why they would make them public?
Commenting on the possibility of a movement before the Senate elections, Rasheed said that it was not illegal to launch a mass movement and, therefore, if the PML-N decided to launch any such campaign it would make it public.
He added that linking any anti-government movement with the Senate election “is a baseless analysis”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.