ISLAMABAD: The embattled ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is all set to sign an ‘NRO’ with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in London.
In London, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seems not only quite healthy but also making an effort to come out of the political pressure in collaboration with the PPP. Source privy to the affairs told Daily Times that both parties have agreed on a new ‘NRO’.
It is pertinent to mention here that Nawaz Sharif suffered heart problem in 2011. Before going to London a few days back, his medical check-up was carried out four times at Sharif Medical Complex in Lahore and doctors diagnosed that one of his arteries was ‘blocked’. During his travel, he was also provided medical aid during a brief stopover in Moscow.
According to the new ‘agreement’ between the two parties, former president Asif Ali Zardari and his colleagues will help government pull out the prime minister from the current crises. Both PPP and PML-N will also work jointly to curtail the powers of Rangers and NAB in Punjab and Sindh.
The prime minister wants to take advantage of delay in setting up of the inquiry commission as he is trying to isolate PTI chief Imran Khan once again by winning the confidence of the PPP, while JUI-F’s Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman is already with the government.
Despite the fact the proposed reconciliation agreement with PPP is in the offing, some ‘bigwigs’ within PML-N are lobbying for the post of prime minister in case Nawaz Sharif tenders resignation.
The prime minister has already proposed the names of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and MNA Sheikh Rohail Asghar for the post. On the other hand, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif thinks himself or his son Hamza Shahbaz the most suitable candidates for the slot. Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar is also in the run for interim prime minister, and has reportedly secured the support of Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman also. However, federal ministers Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal are trying their best to ensure that Ch Nisar doesn’t succeed in grabbing the slot for the interim period.
A strong response is visible within the ranks of PPP over Zardari’s decision to ‘help out’ Nawaz Sharif. Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and Aitzaz Ahsan are strongly opposing the likely reconciliation agreement. They are of the view that PPP’s vote bank in Sindh may drop in consequence of the likely agreement.
However, Asif Zardari, Rehman Malik and Farhatullah Babar are in favour of the reconciliation pact, as they think if Nawaz Sharif resigns, the next prime minister, whether he is Ch Nisar or Shahbaz Sharif, can create problems for the PPP.
Contrarily, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is in favour of adopting an aggressive policy to take maximum advantage of the situation so that PPP may restore its vote bank in Punjab.
Sources told this scribe that cracks within PPP may appear in the days to come. Bilawal Bhutto has dissolved entire organisations of the party and is facing great difficulty in the selection of new office-bearers.
Bilawal has made it clear to senior leadership of PPP, including Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Ahsan and Nadeem Afzal Chan, that the party would not defend any corrupt leader until and unless it is certain that he is being politically victimized.
The source said that sister of Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur, is very upset on Bilawal’s policy and has also showed her resentment over recent comments by Aitzaz Ahsan.
The sources informed Daily Times that in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the day-to-day affairs of the government are being run by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz. They both also take guidance from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif via telephone.
In the next few days, arrests of some important figures from Sindh and Punjab under the national action plan are also possible, which may raise more difficulties for PML-N and the PPP.