PML-N stays aloof from internal rift

Party fears acknowledging 'gibberish' would invite unnecessary media attention

RAMEEZ KHAN April 05, 2024
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif arrives at stage alongside Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to address Minar-e-Pakistan rally in Lahore on Saturday, October 21, 2023. PHOTO: PML-N


Despite sharp jabs from its own ranks, the PML-N appears determined to strategically play the proverbial ostrich, burying its head in the sand while hoping that the criticism will not garner traction on its own.

Despite senior party figures openly lambasting the central government, PML-N appears unfazed as sources within the PM House reveal that acknowledging such criticism would only draw unnecessary media attention towards such “gibberish”.

From former interior minister Rana Sanaullah to portfolio-less federal minister Javed Latif, Senator Javed Abbasi and former senator Asif Saeed Kirmani, a slew of party stalwarts have taken potshots at the leadership.

Their remarks, questioning cabinet formation, casting doubt on the legitimacy of general elections, and expressing disillusionment with the party cosying up to the establishment and abandoning the ‘vote ko izzat do’ slogan.

The airing of public grievances has significantly damaged the party's reputation as a champion of democracy..
Interestingly, all four critics share a common thread: two of them, Sanaullah and Javed, faced defeat in elections, while the others failed to secure party support for re-election, leaving them out of any legislative assembly.

‘Sour grapes’

A well-placed source within the PM House said that Javed Latif and Rana Sanaullah's statements against the government stem from sour grapes. Both of them got a taste of defeat in the recent elections, and no amount of criticism will change that fact.

In fact, Rana Sanaullah, who is also the party’s central Punjab president, not only bit the dust in his own electoral run but also saw his party's ship sink city-wide to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), laying bare his feeble grip on the party's internal affairs.

He said that engaging in the charade that there was some conspiracy against him or that the cabinet formation had input from the establishment only exposes his shallow-minded approach.

When questioned about the party's stance on taking action against such leaders, he clarified that while Sanaullah's remarks were distasteful, they didn't breach party protocol, unlike Javed Latif's extensive transgressions.

Despite their scathing criticism of the government, it was deemed prudent to overlook their statements as serving them with a show cause notice would only amplify the attention towards their allegations, rendering any action counterproductive.

When asked if these pros and cons were taken into account by the PM or his cabinet, he without specifying confirmed that the matter had been discussed.

Another source within the federal cabinet concurred with the said opinion, saying that issuing a show-cause notice would only divert public attention towards their remarks. He suggested that their meaningless chatter should be disregarded for the time being.

The party's priority lies in fulfilling its election promises, and it's imperative to maintain focus on that agenda, he added.

Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar, speaking to The Express Tribune, emphasised the federal government's unwavering focus on the economy, growth, and various pressing issues facing the nation and its citizens.

When asked about the aforementioned statements, he asserted that the government has no time to dedicate to non-issues.


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