The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Friday suspended the party membership of six Punjab Assembly lawmakers and issued show-cause notices to them for “violating party discipline and contravening rules” by meeting Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and “expressing confidence in the prime minister’s and the CM’s leadership”.
According to the notices issued today, signed by PML-N Punjab General Secretary Sardar Awais Khan Leghari, a “press release in electronic and print media on March 10 showed [the lawmakers] meeting Buzdar”.https://t.co/9CqoNN8Uts
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) March 13, 2020
The notices were issued to Azhar Abbas (PP-269, Muzaffargarh), Muhammad Arshad (PP-244, Bahawalnagar), Muhammad Faisal Khan Niazi (PP-209, Khanewal), Choudhry Ashraf Ali (PP-57, Gujranwala), Abu Hafas Ghayasuddin (PP-47, Narowal) and Nishat Ahmed Daha (PP-206, Khanewal).
Participants of meeting:
Nishat Daha, Ghias ud Din, Ch Ashraf Ali, Faisal Niazi, Ghazanfer Ali Khan, M. Arshad, Azhar Abbas & Younas Ansari pic.twitter.com/Ojkl2i2S0v
— Azhar (@MashwaniAzhar) March 10, 2020
On March 10, the six lawmakers, along with one Punjab Assembly lawmaker from the PPP, had called on the Punjab chief minister.
According to the notices, signed by PML-N Punjab General Secretary Sardar Awais Khan Leghari, a “press release in electronic and print media on March 10 showed [the lawmakers] meeting Buzdar. In the past, a meeting with the prime minister, who is also the chairman of the PTI, was also held without any legal/moral justification or prior intimation.”
It added that the above information had not been denied by the lawmakers in the media. “Hence, your basic party memberships have been suspended forthwith and you are hereby directed to show cause as to why the violations were committed,” the notice said.
It directed the lawmakers to submit a reply in this regard within the next seven days, adding that a failure to do so would result in legal action being initiated against them.
“Suspend me if you can”
It is worth noting that Nishat Khan – Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Khanewal – while speaking to Kashif Abbasi in his show affirmed that it is not so easy to take action. There is absolutely no question that the leadership will do anything, he stressed. “I am still a part of PML-N and no forward block has been made as yet but any decisions can be made if required. I have political differences with Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz and he is welcome to terminate my party membership if he wants.
“I had refused to give presidential vote to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) chief Fazal-ur-Rehman and had informed about the decision to the party leadership in front of all in a meeting.
“The meeting with Punjab CM was held to resolve issues of constituency. I have not gone to the opposition chamber for a while. If I am a lota [rolling stone] then Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Yousaf Raza Gillani are all political lotas,” he said.
Nishat Ahmad Khan Daha also termed both of his leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif as turncoats, saying that they were enjoying luxuries of life in London and paying no heed towards their workers and party affairs. He said convict Nawaz Sharif should come back to Pakistan and face his corruption cases.
Nishat Daha once formed a forward bloc in the PPP in Punjab Assembly eight years ago after meeting the then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. In February 2012, just a month before the Senate elections, a group of PPP MPAs led by Nishat Daha called on Shahbaz Sharif and joined the PML-N due to which, the PPP also suffered a setback in Senate polls when it lost a very secure seat of its stalwart Ch Aslam Gill. At that time, the PML-N leadership had warmly received the PPP dissidents and also awarded them party tickets in the next general elections of 2013.
Sabir Shakir, prominent political commentator, opines that the PML-N is facing internal rifts which may lead to an organized forward bloc. He was speaking to ARY News in a morning show where he maintained that different groups within the party are working for their respective leaders. Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others have been attempting to appear as the real heirs of the party, he said.