Key PML-N offices for newcomers: Leadership steps in to calm dissenters
PESHAWAR, Nov 9: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Friday nominated Tahira Bokhari as the party’s provincial organiser to put an end to a lingering controversy over nominations to the women’s wing.
“This is an interim setup which will work until the upcoming elections,” MPA Shazia Aurangzeb, central secretary general of PML-N women’s wing, told Dawn over the telephone from Lahore, where she met with Mariam Nawaz Sharif, its patron-in-chief at her Model Town house.
Ms Shazia, who is the party’s sole woman representative in the Provincial Assembly, was locked in a bitter row with her party’s leadership in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over nominations to the women’s wing.
PML-N provincial president Pir Sabir Shah slapped a show-cause notice on Ms. Shazia for publicly raising what he believed was the party’s internal matter.
Ms Shazia denied the charge and insisted that the Pir from Sirikot was not empowered to issue her a show-cause notice since she was a central secretary general of the women’s wing and Sabir Shah headed KP’s provincial chapter.
“I was surprised over the charges. I have read every clause and chapter of the party’s constitution and I don’t think I have ever violated discipline. I always stand by my principles. This is what I have learnt from my party leader, Nawaz Sharif,” she said.
“I kept asking them ‘show me the list’, where is the list?” “But no list was ever produced,” she said, adding that adjustments could be made in the party’s women hierarchy to accommodate those who had come with Mr Amir Muqam. “But this was not done,” she maintained.
She said she was in Lahore all those days and was taken aback by the issuance of show-cause notices and all. “I was really surprised. I was clueless,” she said.
She said Mariam Nawaz also appointed Shaheen Habibullah as the provincial organising secretary of PML-N women’s wing.
She said she had handed over a list of the district organisers to Mariam and that nominations would soon follow suit to fill the positions which were dissolved two and a half years ago.
Amir Muqam – a long time Musharraf blue-eyed and once the military leader’s self-declared brother- joined the PML-N after falling out with the PML-Q. His induction triggered a bitter tug-of—war between some senior party leaders and those seeking to hoist him at the top position in KP.
Remarks by Capt (r) Safdar, Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, targeting Pir Sabir Shah and Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbasi at a public meeting in his hometown Mansehra, and publicly pledging to bring Amir Muqam in to lead the party in KP, caused further friction in the party.
The jockeying for position was only resolved last month when the Pir from Sirikot, on the direction of Mr. Sharif, agreed, albeit grudgingly, to accommodate some of Muqam’s associate in the party chapter.
However, the party in the province, say some insiders, remain a divided house.
“Things are far from okay,” a party leader told Dawn. “There is little focus on the party affairs in KP than there is on the Punjab,” the leader said.