Escalating brinkmanship: Gilani devises strategy on how to tackle PML-N resignations

PPP expects PML-N to resign from the NA by third week of September.

Abdul Manan August 23, 2011


On Sunday evening, at an iftar held at the Governor’s house in Lahore, as the nation was preoccupied with the violence in Karachi, leaders from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party met to discuss another pressing concern: what to do in case, as expected, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz resigns from the National Assembly in the third week of September?

Among the leaders present were Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Punjab Governor Abdul Latif Khosa. Complicating the discussion of the PPP leaders was the rumoured rift between the Sharif brothers – Nawaz and Shahbaz – who lead the PML-N.

Nawaz, the elder brother and the president of the party, reportedly wanted to resign from both the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly. Shahbaz, the chief minister of Punjab, reportedly agreed to the resignations from Parliament but does not want to lose the Punjab Assembly just yet.

According to sources familiar with the deliberations, the PPP leadership in Punjab decided that, in the event that the PML-N leave the National Assembly, the ruling party would conduct by-elections and generally try to keep the political climate calm until March 2012, when the Senate elections are due to be held. The PPP expects to expand its presence in the Senate to 47 from the current 28.

Should the Punjab Assembly be dissolved – and the PPP leaders seemed to be in agreement that this would be a last resort – the party would then impose governor’s rule in the province. It is unclear for how long.

Shaukat Mehmood Basra, the PPP’s deputy leader in the Punjab Assembly, confirmed that the PPP expected the PML-N’s resignations in the National Assembly in September, but did not elaborate on the party’s strategy.

The prime minister, for his part, seems nervous. On Sunday he said that he had never claimed that the government would complete its term, merely that Parliament would, a distinction he has never drawn before.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.


Mirza | 11 years ago | Reply PML-N and Sharif are political offspring of worst dictator Zia and would do anything to come to power via backdoor. After being a regional party of upper Punjab, they have no chance in senate elections in March 2012. They would avoid the humiliation at all costs, hence the chance of resignation. If they were in power would they resign? With the popularity of Imran Khan, Sharifs no chances even in Punjab. Being a rightwing party, Sharifs have always aligned themselves with JI and likes. However, they have lost that chance as well. Parties like JUI and MQM have also rejected to be with Sharifs. Their only option is via backdoor with the help of PCO SC.
syed Imran | 11 years ago | Reply

The PM has done nothing for Pakistan. What he did was to obdiently serve his master and resultantly almost all the national institutions had to suffer. They would have done "Tia Pancha" of the one and only institution left out,however, once they tried they could not stand their feet. And now Governance is no more there and the country is going to dogs.

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