Parting of the ways

PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif announced at a press conference in Islamabad on Friday that his party’s leadership had decided to part ways with the PPP since the federal government failed to take even the minimum satisfactory action on the 10-point agenda he had presented to it in January this year. Thus, the PPP Ministers in Punjab would have to leave the Cabinet. The decision was taken after a detailed briefing by Senator Ishaq Dar, who headed the PML-N committee constituted to discuss with federal government representatives, ways of implementing the agenda and after a prolonged discussion among party stalwarts.Mian Nawaz lamented that action on even those items of the agenda, which could have been implemented within less than 24 hours was not taken, not to talk of the items which required longer durations to tackle. It was a clear reference, for instance, to the fact that restructuring of state corporations that were running losses of billions to the exchequer had not been done, and their corrupt and incompetent heads who could have been removed with the mere issuance of a notification have been kept in their places. Had the government been serious about putting the PML-N’s agenda into effect, there is no doubt, some progress could have been visible. Mian Nawaz also recounted, one after the other, major concerns of the public that the federal government had done nothing to address.

The PML-N leader recalled at length how the PML-N’s frustration with the PPP had built, with repeated and blatant violations of commitments made with it at the highest level, and yet his party, in the interest of avoiding any harm to the democratic system, had decided to continue cooperating with the PPP. And for that the PML-N had to bear the epithet of a “friendly opposition” that, he thought, was unfair and misplaced since it had been playing the role of a responsible opposition. Its caution was meant only to forestall any non-democratic forces stepping in. He maintained that at every step of the way, the PML-N had offered to sit down with the PPP to work out common solution of the problems facing the country, but to no avail. Mian Nawaz was not wrong in charging the federal government with not genuinely accepting the restored judiciary, by which he was obviously alluding to its efforts to stall compliance of the Supreme Court verdict – Nation