LAHORE: The central executive committee (CEC) of the PML-N is meeting here today (Monday) to discuss the proposals shared by the PPP two days ago for sending the ruling PTI home.
Estranged for around a year on the issue of en masse resignations from the assemblies to culminate the last year’s long march on Islamabad, the leaders of the both opposition parties met at a luncheon at PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif’s Model Town residence on Saturday. During the meeting PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari shared their plans for ousting the Imran Khan government.
The hosts told the guests that though they agreed, in principle, with the proposals of no-confidence and other measures against the government, the ‘elders’ of the PML-N as well as of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would have to be taken into confidence before making any final announcement.
A PML-N official says although the PPP leaders also shared the names of the PTI disgruntled parliamentarians, who would support the no-trust move against their government in Punjab and in the centre, yet the party is not sure about the success of any such move.
“The recent defeat of the joint opposition in the Senate, where we enjoy a clear majority over the government, regarding the State Bank bill is a clear proof that the powers that matter are fully siding with the PTI. In such a situation, the success of a no-trust motion will be a miracle,” he says.
Due to this pessimism, he adds, the party didn’t discuss with the PPP the post-no-confidence details, like who will be the next prime minister/chief minister and what would be the share of each opposition party in the new set-up.
On the other hand, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s tirade against the PPP on its controversial role in the State Bank bill in the Senate raised many eyebrows. It has also revealed that the PML-N leadership is not on one page vis-a-vis political cooperation with the PPP.
Mr Abbasi’s remarks came a day after Shehbaz Sharif announced that the differences between the PML-N and the PPP were a thing of the past.
Some PML-N leaders, however, downplay the issue, saying Mr Abbasi has more often than not been differing with the views of Mr Sharif.
AZMA BOKHARI: The PML-N says that Shehbaz’s meeting with Zardari has troubled the PTI-led government, which is standing with crutches.
Responding to the Punjab government’s spokesperson Hassaan Khawar’s tirade that the two leaders got united for, what he termed, defending dynasty politics and corruption, PML-N spokesperson Azma Bokhari said the meeting had upset the government and shook its very foundations.
She said the joint thrust by the combined opposition parties would push the ‘change’ out of the PM House and sink it in the river Swat. She added that the ‘parchee’ spokesman should put himself at ease because only legal and constitutional methods would be used to send Imran Khan packing.
Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2022