LAHORE, Jan 6: The Pakistan Muslim League-N on Sunday ‘boycotted’ the maiden event organized by Governor Ahmed Mehmood in his bid to ‘show himself as a bridge between parties of opposing political ideas’.
It seemed that the boycott decision had been taken by the PML-N at the eleventh hour and the decision could not be conveyed to all and sundry as Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal and parliamentary secretary for tourism Rana Arshad, both from the PML-N, did turn up at the Governor’s House.
Arshad left shortly afterwards but the speaker stayed there. However, stage secretary and PPP MPA Shaukat Basra did not invite him to address the audience.
Attendance of MPAs from other parties—PPP, PML-Q and PML-F itself—was also thin and not more than 60 of the elected members were there to grace the dinner thrown by Mehmood. And most of those in attendance were from the south Punjab belt, the region the governor belongs to.
Although complaining of the absence of PML-N MPAs, Mehmood pledged to go with the party and not to develop any grudge against it.
Repeatedly vowing to present himself as the governor of all parties and all regions, he said he would give special attention towards the south Punjab issues and that his appointment would benefit a certain party.
He would not specify the party but the pledge he showed at least thrice during his speech to come up to the expectations of President Asif Zardari left no doubt about which party he was talking of.
Mehmood also praised former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi saying his (Pervaiz’s) tenure was very good in the history of the province.
The governor claimed he was going to play an important role in the caretaker setup when he explained his priorities in his relationship with the provincial government. These included law and order, terrorism, general election, transparency, merit in all departments and looking for a consensus interim government for Punjab.
Vowing to develop consensus on all national issues in the province, he said he had invited provincial heads of all political parties on Monday (today) to discuss with them various issues.