PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif lost his cool in a secret video link conference of March 16, blew up all of a sudden after Hamza Shabaz accused Maryam of ignoring him and other party leaders.
He was angry at daughter’s decision to monopolise the Noon league leadership, ordering her to take everybody along in the movement against PTI government.
It happened last week, shortly before the summit meeting of 10- party group (PPP being practically out of it).
Quite a few private TV channels, furnished details of unhappy incident, details of which are fairly interesting for pundits, busy following the tussle between Fazlur Rehman-MNS duo for the past one month.
The secret video link conference was attended only by family members— Ishaq Dar, Maryam, and cousin Shahbaz, who had managed to be in, much to the disliking of Maryam.
In the virtual conference Shahbaz complained that he, despite being the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly had been persistently ignored for PDM activities, which had hurt him.
TV reports claimed Nawaz listened to Shahbaz’s grievance, bore shock expressions, and remained dissatisfied by daughter’s explanations.
He virtually ordered her to “shut-up” because such an attitude would promote divisive tendencies in a party, which had remained firm on anti-government campaign.
An attitude like this was totally unacceptable, he was quoted as saying, ordered Maryam to mend fences before it was too late.
The development was obviously beyond his comprehension, and after showing anger, and annoyance, left the meeting half way through.
For the party it was a sordid state of affair, and for Maryam, according to TV footage, stunning, for she never expected such a strong and adverse reaction from father.
Whether she thought it fit to decide about herself, or her role in PDM, is not known, but a broad hint of damage control was provided by announcement that Maulana Fazlur Rehman, spearheading the movement since November last year, decided to meet Maryam at Jati Umra.
Reports said PML-N Punjab chief, Rana Sanaullah and Hamza too were there in the meeting.
Before heading for Jati Umra at lunch time, the JUI chief had consulted Nawaz on long distance call, exchange views on pros and cons of the sudden development.
That showed that the matter indeed was much more serious than what had met the eye.
Nawaz and Maulana had been hands and gloves over resignations issues, and Long March.
They had even agreed to ignore Asif Zardari’s harsh remarks against Noon league leader who like him, and Bilawal, was on video link too from London.
The fact that Zardari and son themselves stayed in Karachi, instead of being in Lahore, was a powerful indicator of the way differences among JUI, PML-N and PPP were widening and on March 16 had come to a head-long clash.
Zardari accused Nawaz Sharif before all those attending the summit of alliance leaders, only three of which mattered—PPP, PML-N, and JUI-F Nawaz was resting in the cool comfort of London whereas the movement per se demanded sacrifices from all those sworn to dislodge Imran Khan from power.
So far they had met little success, but their determination needed to be acknowledged.
The obvious and much needed sacrifices was to take active part in every conditions, favourable or otherwise, and even being ready to go to jails, which in the opinion of PPP Co-Chairman was binding on all and sundry.
He demanded that Nawaz should come home at once, to which Maryam replied that he wont and anyone addressing Nawaz, must speak to her first.
This obviously enraged Zardari beyond description. It looked like war lines had begun to be drawn closely.
The crisis within the alliance was so thick by then that it demanded reconciliation badly and without loss of time.
The PPP leader, reputed for his sharp mindset and the moves that he makes from time to time, is not easy to counter by simple-minded politicians.
Politics, after all, is like a chess board, where opponent’s moves are closely had to be analysed in advance, and counter moves are to be made carefully for any miscalculation would rebound on weaker player.
Zardari, after refusing to side with Maulana or MNS on resignation issue, tried to reconcile, but his long distance phone call to Nawaz Sharif of Sunday March 21, went unheeded. TV reports said that Nawaz, despite being home in London, refused to receive the call.
Ishaq dar, his “samdhi” (brother in law in really not that powerful equivalent in English and hardly communicates the strong family ties which it does in Urdu) answered the call in an angry mood.
The PPP leader must have been shell-shocked, for he is hardly used to this kind of rude behaviour.
What happens now is a question that time and time alone can answer. The situation has gone far beyond repair, analysts agree.