LAHORE, June 19: The PML-N may surrender the Punjab government in case party leaders Mian Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother and province’s chief minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif are disqualified by the Lahore High Court presently hearing cases against them.
A three-member full bench of the LHC has decided to proceed ex-parte as both the Sharifs did not appear before it despite being summoned twice. The Sharifs say as they do not recognize the `PCO-courts’ as legal, they won’t appear before it in any case.
Sources say that the party has chalked out its strategy in the wake of a court decision against its leaders in either case.
The decision, they say, will also deeply affect its relationship with the PPP.
“The PML-N sees no justification in staying in power corridors if its leaders are sidelined from power politics and in this case it is most likely to ask its coalition partner PPP to form the Punjab government too instead of putting forward any other of its leader for the chief minister slot,” the sources claimed.
Asked if Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari could reach a consensus on issues of deposed judges reinstatement and impeachment of the president in their meeting scheduled for Friday (today), they said no.
Zardari was trying to somehow convince Sharif for acceptance of the proposed constitutional package but the latter was ruling it out, the sources say.
“Both the sides are sticking to their stance and the situation will go on at least up to November as neither of the two is also ready to part ways.”
In the meantime, both the parties are reinforcing their position especially in Punjab province.
The PML-N is improving its hold on Punjab bureaucracy and making plans to appease even PML-Q MPAs without inducting them into the cabinet.
On the other hand, the PPP is also preparing itself for what some observers say making preparations for the next elections by strengthening its position in the province against the PML-N.
It is learnt that PPP co-chairperson Asif Zardari will start giving two days to Lahore every week to look after party’s affairs, while Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will also reserve as many days for the provincial metropolis.
Former Punjab chief minister and special adviser to prime minister MNA Manzoor Wattoo will also begin sitting in Lahore for the same purpose as he is reportedly being elevated as full minister.
Sources say Wattoo claims that if given a chance he can make inroads into the PML-N by attracting some two dozens of its legislators.