NationalVolume 13 Issue # 09

Intriguing developments in Pakistan

Many intriguing and important developments are occurring in Pakistan. The Punjab government has made the Ali Baqar Najafi  report public after the High Court’s orders. The PAT’s chief Allama Tahir ul Qadri has demanded that all the culprits mentioned in the report like CM Shehbaz Sharif, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and other officers should be arrested and punished. Interestingly, almost all the leaders of the main political parties like the PPP, the PTI, the PML-Q, the PSP, etc., have met Allama Tahir ul Qadri and offered their support against the PML-N government in the Punjab and Centre.
According to the news reports, after getting support from the various political parties, the PATchief Allama Tahirul Qadri has finalised formation of a “joint opposition alliance” to launch a “decisive”s movement against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
“Highly credible sources told Daily Express on Sunday that formation of the alliance will formally be announced soon. The key demands of the alliance will include immediate dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies, instant arrest and trial of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and others allegedly involved in the Model Town tragedy. The incident in 2014 left 14 dead and many injured at the hands of the Punjab police, all members of the PAT. The alliance is likely to demand establishment of an interim government in consultation with the opposition parties, leading to early elections in the country. According to sources, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Awami Muslim League (AML) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) have agreed to join the alliance. Meanwhile, the Qadri-led PAT is also in touch with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) among other parties in this regard. The united front would pressurise the PML-N to dissolve its governments in the federation, Punjab and Balochistan, said the sources, adding that the PPP will dissolve its government in Sindh and PTI in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) soon after achieving this goal.

 

However, if the ruling party did not accept the demands, protests will be launched across the country including one in front of the Parliament House in the federal capital. The opposition parties can also use the option of resignation of their lawmakers in consultation with each other. Meanwhile, the PPP is in contact with the ruling party and trying to convince the PML-N leadership for holding early elections through dialogue, the sources also said.
The PML-N has been conveyed a message that the governments should be dissolved for the sake of the “continuity of democracy” and the PPP will not become a part of any anti-government protest movement if the ruling party agrees to resolve the issue at the negotiation table. Highly-placed sources in the PML-N said the party is seriously considering the PPP message at the highest level, adding that the ruling party has forwarded a “secret message” to Zardari’s party that it must support the delimitation bill in the Senate before the League leadership can consider talks on early elections… The PML-N leadership may resort to choose the option of early polls in a bid to prevent formation of a “national or technocratic government”, said the sources.
Then, five PML-N lawmakers have announced their resignations from public office during a Khatm-i-Nabuwwat conference organised by Pir Sialvi in Faisalabad on 10 December. The lawmakers belonging to Punjab’s Jhang, Chiniot, Faisalabad and Sargodha districts, include MNAs Dr. Nisar Ahmad Jutt and Ghulam Bibi Bharwana; Punjab MPAs Maulana Rehmatullah, Nizam-ud-Din Sialvi — Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi’s son — and Khan Muhammad Baloch.  They said they would step down from their positions in the assemblies due to government inaction against Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. The Punjab law minister came under fire from various quarters for his remarks regarding the status of Ahmadis in the country in a TV show, which he said, had been “distorted and twisted by some rivals to take political advantage”.

 

Then, a south Punjab bloc has also emerged in the PML-N which shows that the party is also facing a grave threat of break up and division. Nawaz Sharif’s case in the NAB court has also taken a very interesting turn when copies of cheques worth millions signed by the ousted PM written to his daughter were presented by a witness.
So, the PML-N and Sharif family have received three simultaneous blows which will affect the party and Sharif dynasty very badly in the coming days. The PML-N is about to lose its power in the Punjab, the political safe haven of the Sharif family , after the Ali Baqar Najafi report’s publication.
Pages 74-75 of the report say: “The facts and circumstances of the bloodbath clearly show that police officers actively participated in the massacre. The apathy and recklessness OF ALL AUTHORITIES in Punjab (emphasis added) created the genuine doubt about their innocence…”
This report, along with the pending Hudaibiya case, has started pounding at the foundations of the Sharif empire. The PPP’s Asif Zardari has also abandoned the Sharifs by announcing his support to the PAT. Zardari is demanding and interim set-up. This is what Imran Khan has been demanding. It is very interesting that the PTI and the PPP are, now, on the same page regarding and interim set-up in the country.
With these developments and the NAB cases against Nawaz and family and the Hudaibiya case moving forward, it is becoming clear that Sharifs will lose control in Islamabad and in Lahore sooner than expected.
Many political analysts are of the view that with the PAT’s

expected movement against the PML-N and Zardari’s demand for early polls, it looks “a far cry that Nawaz will succeed to drag on until the March Senate polls. The key question would be who heads the interim government and whether Abbasi, Zardari and Imran Khan agree on the names. Apparently they are moving closer and pushed by the events, may agree on some names obviously suggested by the establishment. Many names are already in the market. Then it would be for the higher courts to determine for how long that set-up should continue. A positive aspect of this whole scenario would be completion of the accountability process, not for the Sharifs alone but across the board”.

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