Will PML-N rise again?

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News Analysis |

Pakistan Muslin League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided to initiate a mass-contact campaign from 30th December in order to enhance its political base. It was decided on Monday during a meeting of senior PML-N leadership, held at Parliament where the ousted Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif and the party president Mr. Shahbaz Sharif were also present. Mr. Nawaz reportedly directed the party leaders to mobilize PML-N workers and set up party offices in all four provincial headquarters.

According to media reports, embattled PML-N leadership maintained that the current government was unable to manage the ongoing economic crisis in the country. “The incumbent government has impaired the economy in just 100 days,” the PML-N supreme leader was quoted as saying during the meeting.

It is important to mention here that since the disqualification of Mr. Sharif in a corruption case by the apex court an anti-army and anti-judiciary narrative was shaped by PMLN leadership.

It was also reported that the PML-N leadership was not happy over the actions of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The PML-N leaders grilled the NAB for its actions against PML-N leaders, saying the bureau had been “exposed” before the nation. “It’s time to pay heed to the public’s voice,” Mr. Nawaz said.

Moreover, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, who heads the 18-member central organizing committee– formed to develop a roadmap for PML-N’s re-organization– briefed the meeting on the drive and presented his recommendations. “The process of party’s organization across the country is speedily moving forward,” Iqbal was quoted as informing the gathering.

Read more: From land mafias to London flats: Whats in store for PML-N?

As a matter of fact, PML-N is facing many challenges after the conviction of its former head Mr. Nawaz Sharif. The party had to face defeat in its political stronghold Punjab in last General Elections where PTI has now formed the government. PML-N was ruling the province for the last 10 years and it was expected that the party would manage to retain its hold.

It is important to mention here that since the disqualification of Mr. Sharif in a corruption case by the apex court an anti-army and anti-judiciary narrative was shaped by PMLN leadership. The allegedly anti-state narrative of Mr. Sharif drowned his party and made its future questionable.

His anti-state stance clearly came before the world when he made some ‘irresponsible’ and ‘controversial’ remarks on Mumbai attacks. In an exclusive interview to daily Dawn’s Cyril Almeida Sharif blamed Pakistan for ‘allowing’ terrorists to kill 150 people in Mumbai. “Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” angry Nawaz asserted.

Anti-military and anti-judiciary narrative of PMLN is not going to save the party but tarnish it image further; as both institutes are most prestigious ones.

Sharif was alluding to the 2008 Mumbai attacks when more than 150 people were killed and more than 300 were wounded. Indian media and authorities immediately blamed Pakistan for the brutal attack. Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned terrorist organization, was held responsible for a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. Pakistan agreed to cooperate with India in order to reach a logical conclusion of the case. But India kept on blaming Pakistan without sharing any intelligence based material with the authorities.

Analysts believe that since the party has lost its appeal across the country it is now trying to make its image better in order to seek public support. However, the question is about the presence of Nawaz Sharif and his allegedly anti-state narrative in the PML-N. For many analysts, it is unlikely for the PML-N to gain popularity once against since corruption cases against its all prominent leaders are being investigated by the NAB which will further weaken its capacity to expand its political scope.

Read more: Is the PML-N demanding NRO?

Anti-military and anti-judiciary narrative of PMLN is not going to save the party but tarnish it image further; as both institutes are most prestigious ones. However, it is yet to be seen how the PML-N initiates its mass-contact campaign, what will be its ultimate objective and how much it would help PMLN survive.

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