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Pir Sialvi again threatens to ditch PML-N

Updated December 07, 2017


SARGODHA: Hard days for Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan as well as the Shahbaz government don’t seem to be ending soon as Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi, the caretaker of the Sial Sharif shrine, has again announced parting of ways with the ruling PML-N for not removing the minister.

Pir Sialvi, who holds sway in over a dozen National and Punjab Assembly constituencies of Sargodha division, on Wednesday dissociated himself from the party, saying it didn’t meet the demand of removing Rana Sana from the Punjab cabinet for allegedly speaking in favour of rights of a religious minority in a TV talk show.

The Pakistan Awami Tehreek led by Dr Tahirul Qadri has also become active in the wake of the Najafi commission’s report on the Model Town tragedy and has called for trial of the Shahbaz government, hinting at a protest drive in near future by giving a call to workers “to get ready for any call”.

Talking to the media here, Pir Sialvi, who is also a former senator, said at least 15 parliamentarians “spiritually associated” with the Sial Sharif shrine would tender their resignations at a public meeting scheduled for Dec 10 in Faisalabad.

The event would also be used to announce a countrywide protest against the PML-N government for not sacrificing the law minister, he warned, adding the political figures affiliated with various shrines in Punjab and elsewhere would also contest polls against the N-League.

The statement hints at failure of the agreement reached between Pir Sialvi and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif a couple of days ago when the latter had assured the Pir that he would visit him shortly and clarify the position and remarks of Rana Sana.

Punjab’s Religious Affairs Minister Zaeem Hussain Qadri and standing committee chairman Malik Waris Kallu had earlier given a similar assurance to the spiritual leader that Rana Sana would appear before him to clarify his remarks and would resign as minister if he “fails to satisfy” the Pir Sahib.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2017