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News Analysis |

PML-N leader Khwaja Saad Rafique dismissed the notions of a “Minus Nawaz” formula in the coming times. His statements come at the back of a high-level meeting at Jati Umrah that was to decide what future course of action should be taken.

Talking to media, Federal Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that only Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is calling for early elections. Rafique said that Senate elections will be held on time and the designs of opponents against Senate polls would be foiled, he added. To a question, Saad said that everyone is aware of the reasons as to why Nawaz Sharif was disqualified.

Shahbaz Sharif and those close to him adopted a rather conservative stance.  Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and those closer to Nawaz attacked the ‘powers’ behind the grand conspiracy against the ousted prime minister.

The PML-N  in a meeting chaired by PML-N President Nawaz Sharif on Monday deliberated on the country’s political situation and decided on a political approach to confronting the challenges facing the party in the wake of the continuing situation.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal, Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, former Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed and Punjab Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah.

Read more: Iqbal vs Nisar: The deepening internal war?

The meeting, which was held at the Raiwind residence of Nawaz Sharif, ruled out any possibility of snap polls in the country and also adopted a future line of action to counter PTI, the sources said. Sources sated that although it was not the chief agenda of the meeting, the issue that how Nawaz would present his stance regarding his disqualification to the people was also raised.

There was an emphasis on presenting the difference between disagreeing and disputing certain actions of any institution and dismissing or clashing with the institutions.

Shahbaz Sharif and those close to him adopted a rather conservative stance.  Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and those closer to Nawaz attacked the ‘powers’ behind the grand conspiracy against the ousted prime minister.

This issue was a major reason why the PML-N has delayed its public mobilization campaign and the rally at Abbottabad had to be postponed until the 20th of this month. A schism already present has surfaced again over the narrative to be adopted for the public meetings.

The rift is between those who thought that the criticism needed to be toned down considerably and a more diverse approach should be adopted which would leave room for possible reduction in friction. At the same time, it was argued that it would not be wise to completely backtrack from the narrative, as they assert it had effectively mobilized the workers and supporters successfully in Nawaz’s Islamabad-Lahore rally.

Read more: Reality behind Nisar’s “No divisions in PML-N” statement

The rift surfaced during the aftermath of Nawaz’s disqualification by the Supreme Court. His public-contact campaign revolved around the narrative of a clash of institutions however Shahbaz Sharif and those close to him adopted a rather conservative stance. Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and those closer to Nawaz attacked the ‘powers’ behind the grand conspiracy against the ousted prime minister.

It seems that the much vaunted London plan could not help heal the many rifts plaguing the PML-N despite ending the succession crisis.

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