News Column

Will PML-N CEC be brought out of slumber?

August 23, 2014


In the current tense and fluid political situation on account of the sit-in protest of the PTI and PAT in Islamabad and their resolute demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N is still banking on a bunch of party leaders and a few state functionaries instead of taking benefit from the party brains in the Central Executive Committee.

Given the pressure that has been built on the government by the protesting parties, the Central Working Committee, which is the Executive body the party, is visible nowhere in this milieu, when it could have been of much use to the govt to put forward a united stand which in turn would be a manifestation of the will of the party voters and supporters, say analysts.

The CEC, comprises up to 40 top leaders with presidents and secretaries of the party’s provincial organisations as it ex-officio members, is competent to carryout resolution on any issue of national value and also take further action. But this body has been in a slumber after it last met before the 2013 elections when the party was dead against the PPP rule.

A resolution backing the prime minister and government by the CEC might have gone a long way to demonstrate the party’s commitment with the PM and the government. Nor that but the parliamentary party of the PML-N is not active or has been arisen to deliver a strong voice against the ongoing difficult situation wherein the PTI and PAT have successfully executed their plan and caught attention of the whole world standing on the threshold of the Parliament and PM House.

But, so far a handful of the persons who are being termed the part of the PM’s kitchen cabinet, have been involved in the matter as well as in the decision-making at this critical juncture. Both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are monitoring, regulating the whole situation and passing direction while, Federal Ministers Khwaja Saad Rafiq, Ahsan Iqbal and Abdul Qadir Baloch have been placed in the field to hold talks with the PTI and PAT leadership for a peaceful and agreeable solution to the crisis.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif mostly appearing on TV channels, are putting up official point on the grapevines about the ouster of the government or any undemocratic move. Khwaja Saad is engaged in countering language and statements of Imran Khan and Dr Qadri while Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan through media conferences is refuting allegations, security steps, government concessions to the protestors recognising the democratic right and extending them warming of terror act and other action the country and the march venue has become vulnerable to the sit-in in the Red Zone.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is scaring the nation with the economic meltdown which the protest may cause. Maryum Nawaz Sharif, daughter of the prime minister, has taken care of the social media front and she is tweeting to take out sting from the incessant delivered speeches of Imran Khan and dampen effect of the protest march. Amazingly, MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, a leading figure in the party, is by and large, out of the fray and appears on the sidelines.

In Punjab, Law Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan was a big and blunt voice against Dr Tahirul Qadri and Khan but he has gone to a low profile since an alleged bribe case scandal was aired against him by a private TV channel. Former Law Minister Rana Sanaulla Khan was brought as reinforcement but he too, as media reports, prepared to leave for London. He too has fixed a limit for himself to speak for the government after his un-ceremonial ouster from the provincial cabinet following the Model Town incident and treatment he received from the party. As the politicians of the other parties mediating in the issue are coming forward, these ruling persons are gradually going behind them.

On the other, the rival PTI is going ahead with the situation and proceedings with the protest under constant meetings and decision of the Core committee while the PAT has also set up a committee to move on with consultation. Although the PPP was involved for protecting democracy through Syed Khursheed Shah, yet the party made formal participation in the matter after holding Central Executive Committee meeting. So are the other parties.

The Punjab governor is quite active to defuse the prevailing tension and to work out an amicable solution while the President also held a meeting with the prime minister to support democracy and the government.

In view of the situation, observers question, why not the PML-N activated its CEC and called its meeting to discuss the issue so that a sound message could have been sent of the party on the PTI and PAT demands which it strongly believes, are unconstitutional, illegal and unjustified and undemocratic. Whether the top leadership lacks trust in the CEC members or doubts their potential is a query striking mind of the political observers, who say, the executive bodies of the politicians in critical junctures help greatly to overcome the crisis. But the PML-N has yet not adverted to it.

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Source: Nation (Pakistan)

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