PML-N’s London huddle

TOP leadership of PML-N gathered at London to discuss the prevailing political situation and have a brain-storming session on future strategy of the party in view of the ground realities. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif few to the British capital for consultations with Mian Nawaz Sharif, who was there understandably because of his spouse who is undergoing cancer treatment there.
Agenda of the Monday’s consultations was not officially announced but media conjectured that the meeting would decide the fate of MNS as President of the party and reigns of PML-N might be handed over to Mian Shehbaz Sharif. Some circles even went to the extent of linking the development to behind-the-scene contacts of PML-N with leadership of brotherly countries of Saudi Arabia and Turkey and claimed that MNS might be sidelined. However, a clear message has come from London that minus-Nawaz Sharif formulated is unacceptable and that there is no room for any unconstitutional move. This might be in reference to the repeated warnings by Prime Minister Abbasi that there was no provision in the Constitution about Government of technocrats. And strangely enough, on the same day, senior leader of PML-N Ch Nisar Ali Khan advised the Prime Minister to shun repeated references to technocrats. He, instead, counselled that steps should be taken for national unity and harmony in view of grave threat emerging for the country. The former Interior Minister, in the past as well, talked about existential threat to the country and there is perception that he is referring to the challenges emerging out of new strategy of the United States for Afghanistan and South Asia. We believe that only a strong leader can unify the country and prepare the nation for meeting the challenges emanating from different directions. There is, therefore, definitely need for national reconciliation so that the internal rifts and splits that are undermining overall strength of the country. Mian Nawaz Sharif has been removed and his successor is in place but doomsday scenarios are still being painted by those who are not willing to wait for completion of the term of the present Government and want to grab power instantly and at all costs. MNS has accepted the verdict but he is leader of the country’s largest political party and it would be naïve to expect that he should lead a life of seclusion. His party can contest next elections only if it remains firmly united and this is possible under the leadership of MNS and Mian Shehbaz Sharif and therefore, no attempts should be made to render the party irrelevant indirectly.

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