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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PML (N) to Move for Midterm Polls in Center

By Ibn-e-Mehboob
IH Special Correspondent

Following the expulsion of PPP ministers from Punjab provincial cabinet, stage is all set for PML-N to move forward to achieve its prime objective of mid term polls to reclaim for the party’s supreme leader Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif the seat he was ousted from in October 1999 by dictator Musharraf.
PML-N leader, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
‘Yes, my party has decided to increase pressure on the federal government for mid term poll as it is our democratic right’, observed hawkish Khwaja Asif, MNA and a close confidant of Mian Nawaz Sharif while talking to this scribe at parliament house a few days back.

‘We have decided to go all out for mid term polls, and the strategy and methodology that we will adopt to force PPP-led federal government to bow down on the demand will be unleashed in next few weeks’, he added.
PML-N leader, Khawaja Asif making a remarkable speech on Army in National Assembly
 Some other hawkish leaders like Khwaja Saad Rafiq also supported the arguments of their senior colleague in the parliament from party ranks at that time. The official spokesman, however, put up a smoke screen by maintaining an old position that the mid term polls is a constitutional way to bring a change in the government.

On the other hand a party insider observed that the a decision to this effect was taken in a senior level party meeting few months back when PML-N leaders had hindered passage of the eighteenth amendment for a few days. The meeting had chalked-out a step wise strategy to bring the weak PPP government to a position where the demand of mid term elections would get positive response from not only the political class, but also from powers that be in the GHQ and the public at large, he added

‘The party had to move very cautiously in a calculated way and that is why Mian Nawaz Sharif first ousted PPP from Punjab in the name of non-cooperation on ten point agenda, while the federal government was actually behaving’, said a party insider on the condition of anonymity. Talking about reasons for not allowing the federal government to complete its tenure as agreed in the Charter of Democracy, the insider maintained that the ten year deadline set by Saudi King Shah Abdullah was over and Mian NS now felt that it was his right to reclaim the seat from where he was ousted in October 1999 by dictator Musharraf. He said that Mian NS felt that he has a right to be back in power no matter whether he breached CoD as under the present circumstances, the every blame will go to Asif Zardari led federal government.

‘The central government is defamed, weak and fragile and this is high time for us to move forward to pressurize the government for mid term polls’, said the sources close to Nawaz Sharif. ‘We on purpose brought the situation to a turn where PPP and PML-N had to part ways so that we can freely move to achieve our political goals’, sources maintained. They said however ‘we will not put this demand directly at this stage, and will wait until the right time. PML-N is not alone in this demand, we are moving at slow pace and will gradually bring other political forces in the fold, specially Jamaat-e-Islami, and other right wing political forces’.

‘Yes, Mian sb has sought permission for politicking in this way from his old guard and friend King Abdullah, but whether or nor GHQ will accept Mian sb as new PM is still a question we are trying to resolve’, said party sources adding that ‘late night meetings of Ch. Nisar and Mian Shahbaz at Army House and GHQ were part of the efforts that party had started to bridge a trust gap between the Army and Mian Sb’. The PML-N sources said similar issues with Washington would be sorted out at a later stage.

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