There are reports suggesting a rift between the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif on the ‘Azadi March’ of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Nawaz Sharif has urged his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, to participate in Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Azadi March against the current government to topple it. Both Nawaz and Fazl now seem to be strong and confident to force the government for an early election.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has relayed a message via a letter to all members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), telling them to stand up for their rights and “ensure that the anti-government protest (Azadi March) is a success”.https://t.co/cjiKpzaBmd
— Daily Times (@dailytimespak) October 14, 2019
Before the JUI-F moves on and places more pressure on the current government, there are speculations suggesting a possible disagreement within the PML-N which may lead to some serious political crisis.
Local media reports suggest that the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly skipped on Oct 10 ‘an all-important meeting’ with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail, citing his backache. Similarly, he did not press the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to allow his meeting with him (Nawaz) at its Thokar Niaz Baig headquarters on Thursday.
Nawaz had completely ignored his younger brother’s suggestions on the ‘Azadi March’ of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Shehbaz appeared to be registering his protest by way of delaying his meeting with him (Nawaz).
PM Khan has made it clear more than once that he will not compromise by any means on the ongoing accountability process. It has created several challenges for him.
Interestingly, despite his backache, Shehbaz met his son Hamza Shehbaz at Kot Lakhpat jail a couple of days ago. Hamza has been on judicial remand in the Ramzan Sugar Mills and assets beyond means case. Shehbaz also presided over several party meetings.
On Wednesday, the former Punjab chief minister skipped a court hearing in the Ashiyana Housing and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases on the ground of ‘severe pain in the spine’.
Shehbaz is reportedly not in favor of joining the JUI-F’s protest as it is perceived to be against the powerful establishment which is said to be backing the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government fully. However, Nawaz rejected all the concerns expressed by Shehbaz and some other senior party leaders and directed him to make preparations to join the Maulana’s protest plan, whether it is a rally or a sit-in.
Shahbaz Sharif asked PML-N leaders to mobilise workers in the light of party supremo Nawaz Sharif’s instructions to fully participate in the ‘Azadi March’ on Oct 31.https://t.co/q9tJJr9YaZ
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) October 15, 2019
Shehbaz Sharif does not seem to be in line with what Nawaz and his daughter have been proposing for a quite time now. He is known for his anti-confrontation policy. But in the present context, this seems to be a challenge Shehbaz is struggling to deal with.
The former PM has written a letter to the JUI-F chief and assured him of full support. Nawaz in the letter categorically reiterated his support to the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for his march on Islamabad. “This is the time to stand up,” he wrote. “This is the time to set aside all convenience and fight for our rights.” “When the country’s honour, its self-respect is at stake, we must stand up and defend our rights,” read the letter.
Nawaz who is in jail and serving his sentence is now seems to be confident to topple the PTI’s government. It is important to recall that the PML-N supreme leader was sentenced to seven years in prison and was fined Rs1.5 billion in the Al-Azizia reference by an accountability court on December 24, 2018. However, he was acquitted in another reference related to Flagship Investments. He was imprisoned in Adiyala Jail and shifted to Kot Lakhpat Jail on his request.
Nawaz Sharif was granted bail for six weeks by the Supreme Court to afford him an opportunity to get treatment of his choice in the country for his complicated heart and kidney disease. The bail expires on May 7 (today) as the apex court rejected his review petition seeking permission to go abroad for the treatment.
Battle between PMLN Shehbaz Group and PMLN Nawaz/Maryam group in full swing, enjoy it !!! pic.twitter.com/kEva6udDLJ
— Khalid (Halit Ertuğrul) (@khalid_pk) October 14, 2019
Since the NAB is going after all those who have allegedly misused their authority or took money, there is more pressure on the Premier. PM Khan has made it clear more than once that he will not compromise by any means on the ongoing accountability process. It has created several challenges for him. The opposition has branded him as stubborn who is not willing to compromise on any political point.
Interestingly, the premier Khan made it clear during his maiden speech to the nation that whenever powerful and corrupt people will be brought before the law there will be propaganda against the government. A narrative will also be established as if the democracy was under threat, he added.