PML-N attempts to recapture lost ground

‘N League, PML-Q-Likeminded to form alliance after Ramazan’.

Express August 12, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Politically isolated, the PML-N is reaching out to smaller groups and parties that it had once rejected when their popularity was high.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz members had a meeting with a breakaway faction of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), PML-Like Minded, headed by Senator Saleem Saifullah Khan on Thursday. The PML-N is also in touch with some nationalist parties in Sindh and Balochistan for cooperation.

“The two parties have decided in principle to form an alliance. We will decide the modalities of this alliance in another meeting after Eid,” former federal minister Hamayun Akhtar, a member of PML-Likeminded, told The Express Tribune.

The two sides will give a fresh impetus to an attempt made last year to form an alliance of different Muslim Leagues, a PML-N leader said.

The smaller factions of Muslim Leagues in the past had blamed the inflexible attitude of the Sharif brothers as a main hurdle in forming a united Muslim League. Pir Pagara’s PML-F, Ijaz ul Haq’s PML-Z, Sheikh Rashid’s Awami Muslim League and Chaudhry Shujaat’s PML-Q were to be part of the alliance with the PML-N if the effort had succeeded.

The PML-N is also trying to put its own house in order and patch up with dissident voices within the party. As part of this move, Nawaz Sharif had a meeting with Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday and assured him that his grievances will be addressed.

Nisar, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, is reportedly not happy with some policies of the top leadership and has not attended the ongoing NA session so far.

People within the party said Nisar is upset about Nawaz Sharif meeting a real estate tycoon, who is allegedly financing Haji Nawaz Khokar, Nisar’s political rival.

Thursday’s meeting came a week after the failed attempt of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and MNA Khawaja Asif to appease Nisar.

These leaders had met Nisar in London last week before returning to Pakistan some days ago. In the absence of firebrand Nisar from National Assembly, PML-N’s deputy parliamentary leader Sardar Mehtab Abbasi is leading the party in the lower house, but softspoken Abbasi could not make any significant impact during proceedings so far.

PML-N sources said if Nawaz Sharif is able to convince Nisar, the opposition leader may hold a press conference to dispel the impression of his differences with the party’s top leadership.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.


Jawad Malik | 12 years ago | Reply

PML-N has a history of double game. Mian Nawaz Sharif has no credibility. It is said actions speak louder than words and the same is with PML-N leaders. PML-N publicly denied accepting PML-N members back in party. But it whole heartedly welcomed the former minister of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal Gujjar in the party rank, not only Iqbal Gujjar but several others in the form of Unification bloc. The story of U-turns goes back to general elections of 2008 when APDM decided to boycott the polls. The APDM was a political alliance consisting of thirty-two parties opposed to the military rule of Pervez Musharraf. Its noteworthy members included Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and Awami National Party. All legislators of APDM resigned from their National Assembly and the regional assemblies seats when Musharraf’s nomination papers for the presidential election were accepted. The major stakeholders of this political alliance, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, decided not to contest the election. Nawaz Sharif endorsed the decision but on his return to country, his party participated in the polls. During those days he shifted his stance many times but finally took part in the process and as a result Shahbaz Sharif became the chief minister of the biggest federating unit, Punjab, with the help of the PPP. Since the inception of Punjab Assembly, the N-League had been opposing taking PML-Q legislators in its folds, but the situation is different — the PML-N accepted them but in a different way. They were asked to become turncoats as a new group – Unification Block – was formed and its members became the pillar to save the Punjab government. There’s a major change in the PML-N policy, as it had always expressed opposition to destabilizing the government and had called for letting the assemblies complete their tenure. The Sharifs of Punjab were very vocal on the point that completion of constitutional tenure3 is a must for strengthening the democratic norms. They refused to become a part of any movement aimed at dislodging the government, but their recent move is aimed at toppling the democratic setup. The grand alliance in the offing, led by Sharifs of Punjab, is based on one-point agenda – getting rid of Asif Ali Zardari-led PPP administration, another change in its stance.

Chengez K | 12 years ago | Reply The Sharif brothers should retire.They are no leaders.When democracy was in danger in 1999 (unlike Bhutto who went to Gallows like a lion) these retarted brothers sinply ran way. Their interest is in businesses in U.K as they have invested Billions of pounds in London real estate. No new blood is joining this sinking party as all the party leaders are over 65 years old & majority appear to be senile.All their fights are either over petty personal issues or trying to take revenge from Pakistan army.
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