LAHORE: Finally, after the ‘silent’ protest by Shehbaz Sharif, MNA Javed Latif has been issued a show-cause notice on the direction of former premier Nawaz Sharif for indirectly criticising PML-N president and some other party leaders considered close to him.
PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal on Friday served the show-cause notice on Latif.
“It has come to the notice of the party Quaid that you (Javed Latif) appeared on a talk show on Sept 14 in which you made certain comments and allegations that were baseless and violative of the party discipline. Quaid is proud of all his colleagues who have stood shoulder to shoulder with him over decades. The party remains united despite the worst conspiracies hatched against it by anti-democratic forces. The recent victory in the cantonment boards’ election is a testament of our unity and steadfastness which enjoys popular support of the people,” reads the notice.
It further says: “Whereas PML-N has the tradition of allowing maximum space to its members to express their opinions within the party in the spirit of true democracy, at the same time the tone and tenor in public discourse no matter whosoever it comes from, which includes discussions in TV talk shows, that violates the very ethics and discipline of the party is intolerable. I am directed by Nawaz Sharif to issue this show-cause notice to you [Latif] and you are called upon to show cause as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against you. Respond to this notice within seven days.”
A party leader told Dawn that Mr Latif was now given two options – either seek unconditional apology from Shehbaz Sharif or resign as party MNA.
“The boycott of two back-to-back divisional level meetings of the party in Lahore this week by Mr Shehbaz over not issuing a show-cause notice to Latif finally bears fruit as Nawaz Sharif realised the sensitivity of the matter and took a corrective measure,” he said and added that the episode was a set back to the Maryam Nawaz camp as well.
Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, was reportedly very upset over Latif’s rant against him and his fellow party leaders and took it as his ‘insult’.
Javed Latif, who had become a confidant of the party vice-president Maryam Nawaz after being jailed, had told a private news channel on Sept 14 that four to five leaders in the PML-N were on an ‘assignment’ to distort the party’s narrative [respect the ballot].
Indirectly referring to Shehbaz, who advocates the narrative of reconciliation [with establishment], Latif said “those who are on an assignment talk about reconciliation. I don’t want to name them but when seasoned leaders cause damage to the [party’s] narrative, this is not possible without an assignment [from the establishment].”
On Friday, Javed Latif claimed while talking to a news channel that he knew how Nawaz Sharif was convinced to serve a notice on him as he (Nawaz) was not ready to do so.
“I know how Nawaz Sharif was persuaded to issue a show cause notice to me. However, I am even ready to resign if asked,” he said and added that he had ‘friendship’ with Shehbaz but he stood by his words that some leaders in the PML-N were causing harm to Nawaz Sharif’s narrative.
Latif also claimed that some leaders in the party meetings had spoken against Nawaz’s narrative.
This is not an isolated episode, as earlier this month Shehbaz Sharif cut a sorry figure after the party issued a clarification on his statement regarding his idea of ‘national government’ terming it his personal opinion.
Talking to reporters at the Lahore Press Club, PML-N president Rana Sanaullah said it was wrong to say that anyone in the PML-N was on ‘assignment’.
“If someone is on ‘assignment’ he cannot remain in the party,” he said.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2021