PML-N may seek new PM
LAHORE: Not happy with the Supreme Court’s decision in the rental power case at such a ‘crucial time’, the Pakistan Muslim League-N is considering suggesting that the Pakistan People’s Party bring an in-house change to replace Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf so that any serious fallout from the judicial verdict is averted.
“We’re suggesting to the PPP to introduce a new person for replacing Prime Minister Ashraf instead of dillydallying with the Supreme Court orders as it may compound the situation to the disadvantage of all democratic forces,” sources in the PML-N told Dawn.
“The suggestion will be made after a meeting of party elders scheduled for Wednesday and will carry just one condition – announcement of the election schedule,” they said.
The sources said the party would offer its support for electing a new prime minister if any coalition partner ditched the PPP government.
A PML-N leader said contacts were also being made with other parliamentary parties to bring them on the same page.
He said Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been approached with the suggestion and had also been urged to play his role for strengthening democratic forces.
He said PML-N president Nawaz Sharif had invited Maulana Fazl, Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Munawwar Hasan, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, National Party Senator Hasil Bizenjo and Aftab Sherpao for a meeting on Wednesday in a bid to assemble all ‘pro-democracy’ opposition parties on a platform and chalk out a joint strategy in view of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march and the likely consequences of the apex court’s verdict against the prime minister.
The JI leader said he was going to the lunch.
The PML-N official said that some party leaders had suggested inviting Imran Khan too, but Nawaz Sharif decided to delay the invitation for the time being.
According to him, the Awami National Party could not be contacted.
The moves indicate that the court decision has sent alarm bells ringing among PML-N ranks while so far the party had been taking the long march lightly, refusing to frame any counter strategy for a ‘non-starter’ event.
A PML-N leader said his colleagues were very uneasy after the court orders, but could not criticise them openly because of fear of losing the repute the party had earned by supporting the judiciary in the past.
He said the party had apprehensions about the court’s verdict regarding the Balochistan government, fearing it could
strengthen the hands of anti-democratic forces, but had avoided disapproving of it because it did not want to damage the image of the judiciary.