In the heart of Lahore in the city’s posh Model Town neighbourhood, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) formally inaugurated the party’s central secretariat.
According to an official handout, the secretariat has been constructed at the ancestral home of the Sharifs. The land, sprawled out over more than an acre, has been donated by the Sharif family. The renovation of the building, however, has been funded by PML-N overseas workers and leaders, especially those located in the Gulf region.
Party chief Nawaz Sharif made an address at the inauguration, flanked by Gulf region party president Noorul Hassan Tavir, Secretary Iftikhar Butt and a large number of other leaders and workers.
Spewing venom at the government, the PML-N president said the main question before the entire nation was when President Asif Ali Zardari would leave his office, adding that there was no difference between President Zardari and former president Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial approach. He added that the president had resisted the restoration of the judiciary in 2009.
According to sources, the first party meeting held at the newly established office discussed the current political scenario with senior party office bearers. Sharif also finalised his visit to Sindh, which will start from today (Tuesday). Sharif is to visit Karachi and then address a public gathering at Khadero Badin.
Insiders said PML-N has utilised around Rs180 million for the renovation of the building. They added that a significant section of the party had opposed the decision to form the party’s central secretariat in Lahore instead of Islamabad in order to dispel the impression that it’s merely a ‘GT road party’, but Sharif remained adamant.
The insiders also expressed dissatisfaction over the large amount of money spent on the renovation, saying it was contrary to the party’s claimed policy towards an austerity drive.
Interestingly, the Model Town Housing society has been barred from being used for political offices or intelligence offices in the wake of a number of suicide attacks in the area, carried out on terrorism investigation cells’ offices located within the neighbourhood.
Nawaz is to reach Karachi at 10:00 am today, where three prominent personalities in Sindh’s political landscape will join PML-N. According to officials, Sardar Manzoor Panwar of Jacobabad, Mir Rafique Talpur, and Shafi Jamot of Maleer Bin Qasim, Karachi, are all set to join the party officially.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2012.