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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and president Shahbaz Sharif on Monday jointly presided over a consultative meeting of the senior party members at the Parliament House to discuss a host of issues including the party’s reorganisation.

According to PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, chairman of the party’s central organising committee Ahsan Iqbal briefed the party leadership about proposed changes in the party structure with a view to reorganise it at the grassroots level.

This was the first formal meeting attended by Nawaz Sharif since the death of his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in September.

Ms Aurangzeb said another such meeting was scheduled to take place on Thursday in which the leadership would be given a presentation by her on the party’s future “media strategy”.

Nominees for heading NA committees being finalised amid reports about party’s plan for mass mobilisation against govt

Some TV channels reported that besides discussing the party’s reorganisation process, the senior party leaders also reviewed the prevailing political situation in the wake of ongoing actions of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against PML-N members and the formation of the standing committees of the National Assembly.

The channels while quoting sources claimed the party leaders also discussed the option of launching a mass contact drive to highlight the government’s alleged failure on almost all the fronts and to mobilise the party from December 30.

While discussing the formation of the NA standing committees, it was reported, the party decided that the opposition after getting the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would insist on getting chairmanship of some important committees.

As per parliamentary traditions and under the rules, the chairmanship of the committees is given to the parties in proportion to their seats in the lower house of the parliament. Under an agreed formula, the opposition members are expected to get the chairmanship of about 18 committees.

Sources privy to the meeting said that the former prime minister criticised the government’s economic policies. He was quoted as saying that the rulers were incapable of managing the country’s affairs which was evident from government’s performance during the first 100 days in office.

The PML-N lawmakers during the meeting decided they would continue their protest in the NA session against the non-issuance of production orders of party legislator Khawaja Saad Rafique. Earlier on Friday, too, the opposition members had boycotted the proceedings of the National Assembly by staging a walkout.

However, Ms Aurangzeb refuted the reports that the party leaders had discussed the issue of the formation of the standing committees. She said the main focus of the meeting was party’s reorganisation. She said the PML-N was finalising names of the members who would be asked to head the committees.

She also denied the reports that the party was planning to launch any mass mobilization campaign against the government. However, she admitted that they discussed the strategy for holding a convention on the foundation day of the party on December 30.

Responding to a question, she said the PML-N supremo would also be present at the next meeting, which would be held on Thursday.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2018