Abdul Qadir Baloch

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch on Saturday decided to resign from the party. Former Balochistan chief minister Sanaullah Zehri and some of his aides have also decided to quit the party.  Abdul Qadir Baloch, PML-N’s provincial president, reportedly took the decision after the party’s controversial decision not to invite Sanaullah Zehri to the recently held Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in Quetta.

Some sources in PML-N claim that Zehri was not invited due to an ongoing tribal feud. “Sardar Akhtar Mengal had requested the senior party leadership not to invite Zehri,” a PML-N leader revealed.

However, there are some other reliable reports claiming a serious leadership crisis within the former ruling party. “After Nawaz’s and Maryam’s controversial and anti-army speeches, several party leaders do not see their future with the PML-N,” sources claim.

“Cannot stand by the narrative of disobedience”

The News reported that Qadir has confessed to have quitted the party because of the senior leadership’s narrative. “I am a product of the Army and cannot stand by the narrative of disobedience since it would be extremely injurious to the country. I have taken the decision of parting ways with heavy heart,” said the retired General who commanded North Command as Corps Commander in Quetta and had also been governor of Balochistan.

Meanwhile, two PML-N MPAs Nishat Daha and Younas Ansari have said that their heads hang in shame because of MNA Ayaz Sadiq’s controversial statement.

Speaking at a press conference in Multan, PML-N MPA Nishat Daha said, “I am deeply saddened by the statement made by Ayaz Sadiq, my head hangs in shame on the statement of the former speaker.”

He said that if the leadership wants to please India, it should move there. He further said that today, as a PML-N member, he is ashamed. “The entire nation was hurt by the statements of Nawaz Sharif and Ayaz Sadiq, what they are doing is not good for the country,” he added.

Read More: Nawaz Sharif’s anti-Pakistan interview and its cost: A snake in the grass?

Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Younas Ansari said, “Our family has been in politics for 35 years but I am ashamed at what is happening in the National Assembly. Ayaz Sadiq should be remorseful at his statement.”

PML-N’s anti-state narrative

Nawaz Sharif named the Army Chief and DG ISI for political engineering in the country. “General Bajwa is responsible for installing incompetent Imran Khan,” he said while addressing PDM rally from London.

Similarly, senior PDM leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai in his speech had said “though Urdu is lingua franca, it’s not our language”.

Later on, MQM’s Faisal Subzwari said that the silence of all opposition parties against the anti-Urdu statement seemed to suggest that it was the collective narrative of the opposition.

“Rejecting Urdu as the national language and that too from a place located under the shadow of Quaid’s mazar is a matter of serious concern,” he said, adding: “The leadership of opposition should have demonstrated responsibility.”

Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP) leader Maulana Shah Owais Noorani demanded an independent Balochistan in Quetta while addressing a rally of PDM. “We want Balochistan as an independent state. Today, Balochistan looks like an underdeveloped area of the country,” Maulana Owais Noorani said.

Finally, PML-N’s Ayaz Sadi had said that “I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was. Foreign Minister said for God’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm”. Not only the foreign minister but also DG ISPR rubbished the statement.

PTI is contacting “disgruntled lawmakers” of PML-N?

Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned him the task to contact the disgruntled lawmakers of the PML-N, who are fed up with the negative narrative of the party leadership.

Two weeks ago, while speaking at a gathering in Nowshera, Khattak said: “Over 15 members of the National Assembly have now approached me while others are also flexing their muscles to part ways with the PML-N and join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in near future.”

The defence minister claimed that the PML-N would soon be divided into three pieces, which would help dump the politics of agitation and personal vendetta.

Notably, a few days ago, four members of Punjab Assembly belonging to the PML-N called on Punjab Chief Minister, Sardar Usman Buzdar and apprised him of the problems in their constituencies. This meeting was in continuation of their previous meetings with Buzdar who had been consistently claiming that any member of the Punjab Assembly could meet him irrespective of his/her party affiliation.

Those who called on the Chief Minister included Chaudhary Ashraf Ali Ansari, Muhammad Ghiasuddin, Muhammad Faisal Khan Niazi and Mian Jalil Ahmed Sharaqpuri. A local PML-N leader from Gujranwala Ch Muhammad Yunis Ansari was also present in the meeting.

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It has been the consistent stance of these MPAs that they had not left their parent party and that they were in contact with the Chief Minister in connection with the resolution of problems in their constituencies. They have also maintained the same position in response to the show-cause notices earlier issued to them by the PML-N leadership.

Video conference controversy

MPA Sharqpuri asserted that when he met Usman Bazdar, Chief Minister of Punjab, the league leaders had gotten angry. “It is beyond my comprehension why there is a need to show anger at a meeting held to resolve the issues of the constituency” he complained. “There is no point in getting angry at all.”

Per Siasat News, Sharqpuri also revealed that some members of the Punjab Assembly say that they can no longer walk with the party. He stated, “I opposed the speech and spoke of my conscience which Ahsan Iqbal did not like.”

‘Nawaz family against national interest’

Sharqpuri also disclosed that Maryam Nawaz, Vice President PMLN, was also furious at the time and remained angry throughout. “This style will not be good if it is maintained”, he warned. The MPA provided that the idea of clashing with the establishment was not a great idea for the future of the country.

“There are some people in PML-N who say that the party can’t walk with the party any longer”, he finally asserted. When asked by the host, Waseem Badami, whether he himself intended to leave the party, Sharqpuri promptly replied in the negative, saying that neither did he have the intention, nor did he find the need to do so.

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