PML-N tries to woo PPP allies

Mian Nawaz Sharif

SLAMABAD – The main opposition party in the Parliament, PML-N, which held an informal consultative meeting chaired by Mian Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday, offered an olive branch to the ruling coalition partners to field a consensus candidate, sans PPP, in a bid to get rid of inept and corrupt regime.

In this connection, the PML-N contacted MQM and ANP in addition to small opposition groups in the National Assembly, including JUI-F and PPP-Sherpao, but failed to get the desired response so far. The PML-N would evolve the future course of action in the light of its contacts with other parliamentary parties. Sources in the party said the PML-N might nominate its MNA from Abbottabad Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi as a candidate to contest election for the leader of the house. The meeting, which took stock of the situation arising from the disqualification of former prime minister Gilani, also decided to seek early general elections as the PPP has failed to deliver the goods.

Addressing the meeting, Nawaz Sharif said Gilani could have resigned earlier following the court judgment, adding that the government had tried to manufacture a clash between the Parliament and the judiciary by mastering issuance of National Assembly speaker’s ruling in favour of the former premier. He said the government had failed to provide relief to citizens and it was crafting differences in Punjab by generating the power crisis. “The (federal) government is trying to create hatred among the people of Punjab against the provincial government by victimising the province through loadshedding and we want to tell them clearly their efforts would not materialise,” he noted.

He said the PML-N would not accept any extra constitutional steps taken by the government, adding that his party would create awareness among masses by visiting every street of the country. Meanwhile, PML-N also contacted the MQM and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to evolve an independent course in the election of new leader of the house. Details of these discussions were not immediately available. Agencies add: Nawaz said the Supreme Court had upheld the supremacy of law and the Constitution through the ruling that Yousuf Raza Gilani stood disqualified as prime minister.

According to sources, the PML-N leaders told Nawaz that they would not cast vote for the new prime minister and they would have to work as a strong opposition. The PML-N meeting was attended by Chairman Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Senator Ishaq Dar, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Mushahidullah Khan.

The meeting felt that the Supreme Court’s decision was the victory of law and justice. It also reviewed financial and energy crises being faced by the country and acknowledged that the federal government’s incompetence, corruption and policy of confrontation with judiciary have placed the country in a quagmire. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to make possible a result-oriented constitutional change by ensuring continuity of the democratic process.-Nation