News Analysis |
The news about rifts within Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) got confirmed when 15 MPAs of the party met the Prime Minister Imran Khan along with the Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar on Saturday.
The news was initially rejected by the PLM-N but later in the evening PM’s special assistant Naeem-ul-Haque confirmed the development on Twitter, saying: “The hopes of PMLN MPAs from Punjab continues to get shattered within their party as was obvious in today’s meeting with the PM.”
The hopes of PMLN MPAs from Punjab continue to get shattered with their party as was obvious in their today’s meeting with the PM. 15 MPAs of PMLN met PM at Bani Gala for 1 1/2 hours. CM Punjab had brought them over. They expressed full confidence in PM and the CM.— Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) June 29, 2019
The government and many analysts believe that the rift is the result of PML-N’s vice-President and daughter of Nawaz Sharif’s high-headedness. Maryam is accused on sidelining senior leaders of the party and bringing up men and women of her choice within the party. Sources claim that Maryam is bringing flatterers closer which may cause a heavy loss to the party.
Fawad Chaudhary, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, addressed media personnel and criticized the opposition for even not being able to stay united. Moreover, while touching upon the alleged cracks in PML-N ranks, Chaudhry claimed that Shehbaz Sharif “was never a leader of the opposition, a leader during crisis, which is why we have seen that whenever there is such a crisis situation, he is easily sidelined and leaves the country”.
Sources also claim that the opposition leader in Punjab assembly also did not speak much, nor was he invited to comment, during the meetings between PPP and PML-N leadership.
He was alluding to the recent visit of the PML-N president to the United Kingdom for his medical check-up. Chaudhry then accused Maryam Nawaz of taking “full advantage of this” and launching “a stealthy attack” on Shehbaz’s leadership and stealing it from him, in an apparent reference to the duo’s public differences in opinion over a proposed charter of the economy.
There is a disagreement within the party as to who will lead the PML-N? Maryam Nawaz desires to be in the center and wants Shahbaz and Hamza to stay in Punjab. Reliable sources claim that now Hamza, unlike his father, is determined to become a part of the national politics. Hamza is leading a group in Punjab which includes senior leaders like Malik Muhammad Ahmed.
In recent public gathers like Iftar-dinner at Zardari House in Islamabad, indicated that Hamza was not happy to be treated as someone who does not have much influence in the party. Political analysts commented that “Hamza looked upset and unhappy during the meetings.” Sources also claim that the opposition leader in Punjab assembly also did not speak much, nor was he invited to comment, during the meetings between PPP and PML-N leadership.
Sources claim that Maryam is bringing flatterers closer which may cause a heavy loss to the party.
It is worth noticing that the PML-N has been facing a crisis of leadership in Sindh, especially in Karachi, because of powerful intra-party groups led by party stalwarts in the province — Shah Muhammad, Nihal Hashmi, and Saleem Zia.
In the past, it has been observed that Nisar Ali Khan, Sharif’s loyalists who has now parted ways with PML-N, was asked to work under the leadership of Maryam Nawaz. Ch. Nawaz publically conveyed to Sharifs that “Nawaz Sharif is my leader and I am willing to work under him.
Read more: Was Maryam Nawaz’s stance in MPC harsh?
I have serious political credential and cannot work under the leadership of kids.” Since Maryam-led group comprised of Pervez Rashid, former information minister who had to go home after his role was established in notorious Dawn leaks, was powerful enough to influence Nawaz therefore, Nisar was soon sidelined.
These days the tussle between Hamza and Maryam is likely to accelerate and may result in forward block in Sindh and Punjab. It is also being speculated that the MNAs may join the PTI after developing ‘irresolvable’ disputes with new party head, Maryam Nawaz.