PML-N’s grip on reality

AT a high level meeting in Lahore on Sunday, top leadership of the ruling PML-N made several decisions that indicate the party still has grip on reality close to the general election. The consultative session attended, among others, by PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif decided to initiate efforts to placate estranged elements in the Party, accelerate work on developmental projects and ensure that there is minimum load-shedding in summer.
These are the issues that PML-N should have focused much earlier but regrettably it allowed itself to be distracted due to judicial and political moves and as a result it is leaving the field open to its opponents to manage things in their favour. This is despite the fact that the incumbent government is, perhaps, first government in the history of Pakistan, which delivered as per its manifesto, commitment and its performance is visible to everyone. Political opponents are finding it difficult to compete with PML-N as far as its performance in different fields is concerned and that is why they are banking more on other factors. This is time when the party needs to consolidate itself and it has all the potential to do so but no worthwhile effort has so far been made to appease those who have either already said goodbye to the party or might be looking towards greener pastures in days to come.
There is a general impression that Mian Nawaz Sharif’s inflexible attitude in this regard is harming the core interests of the party. He might have moral reasons to do so but in politics there are no personal or permanent foes and decisions are dictated by overall interests. Differences between MNS and former Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan are known to all but no worthwhile effort has been made to sort out them despite the fact that these could be in the interest of neither PML-N nor Ch Nisar himself. It is, perhaps, because of this that so far Nisar has not closed his door for mending fences with the party leadership and the differences need to be sorted out as uncertainty around elections could cost dearly. Similar attempts should also be made to address grievances of others especially those in Southern Punjab who are in a mood to switch their loyalties. Again, PML-N governments at the Centre and in Punjab are also not paying due attention to completion of projects which are getting delayed unnecessarily. Load-shedding is also manageable but that also needs some extra efforts on part of the government.

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