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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nawaz Sharif to chair PML-N’s consultative meeting: Has he crossed the Red Line?

Nawaz Sharif will chair a consultative meeting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) today. He is likely to take party leaders into confidence. Analysts are mulling over the question; has Nawaz Sharif crossed the red line?

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will chair a consultative meeting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday (today), ARY News reported. Sharif will chair the party session in Model Town, Lahore via video link, and brief the PML-N leaders about the party’s policy and its future line of action, said the sources.

The PML-N meeting, which is expected to be attended by Maryam Nawaz, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq, Ahsan Iqbal and other leaders of the party, will likely to deliberate on treason cases, accountability cases and the movement announced to be launched by the opposition parties alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The PML-N members of the parliament and the party’s ticket holders will attend the session, sources said.

Nawaz Sharif will take the party leaders and parliamentarians into confidence over his narrative and recent speeches, according to sources. The matters related to party discipline violation will also be consulted in the party’s meeting, sources said.

Party leaders Maryam Nawaz, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq, Ahsan Iqbal and others also expected to address the session.

Can opposition topple Khan’s government?

Political analysts and experts are now deliberating over an intriguing question; can the opposition topple PM Khan’s government?  Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst who served as a senior official during the 2018 polls, said during a talk-show on Dunya TV that “the movement will likely involve more rhetoric than action”. Dr. Rizvi was of the view that the opposition parties won’t be able to stay united as many of them have “competing and contradictory interests”.

Nawaz Sharif crossed the red line?

The former ruling party—PML-N— is now advancing an argument that Nawaz has crossed all the limits, and became a staunch supporter of democracy in Pakistan. However, political analysts are of the view that Nawaz Sharif did not cross the red line. Nawaz has, argue commentators, sent a message that “he and his followers have not lost their fire especially if the pressure on them is ratcheted up,” wrote Arifa Noor, Dawn’s former Resident Editor, in Islamabad.

Read More: Khan’s idealism or JKT’s realism?

Noor also pointed out that Nawaz did not name those behind the present-day political engineering; “The former premier remembered that a retired officer had a role to play in the fall of the Noon government in Balochistan but not the names of the ones who may have tinkered with the no-confidence move against the Senate chairman or the vote in the joint session last week. The omissions were more telling than the stories told and the people named,” she maintained.

“Nawaz Sharif has not burnt all his boats, to mix metaphors. He is too astute a politician to do otherwise, regardless of what his hard-line leaders and followers expect,” Noor concludes.

Read More: Shehbaz Sharif fails to present himself before NAB

The dominant view in policymaking circles in Islamabad is that the Opposition lacks both a strong will and the required capacity to topple the government. It is, on the contrary, making attempts to pressurize the government and the establishment to seek some concessions to evade the ongoing accountability drive.