PML-N top brass fails to convince Nawaz from spilling more beans

Sadiq Sajid

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leadership on Wednesday attempted to convince the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif from keeping silence over the recent controversy created by his interview, but Nawaz totally refused their request and reaffirmed his commitment to his statement, credible sources said.

He made it clear to his party’s senior leadership that he had drawn a line and those who want to leave him can do so, he would not stop them.

Political observers say that Nawaz Sharif has reached decisive moment in his political career. He is facing corruption charges in the accountability court and could be sentenced to imprisonment.

At the same time he is facing tremendous pressure from the establishment and there are reports that his party might disintegrate in the face of this pressure.

In such a situation political observers see Nawaz’s Mumbai attacks statement as an act of desperation based on the axiom that “offense is the best defense”.

Nawaz doesn’t seem to be in the mood of any kind of compromise which his party men are suggesting to him as a way out of the quagmire.

The sources said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker, Ayaz Sadiq and Punjab Chief Minister, Shehbaz Sharif had held a detailed meeting with Nawaz.

During the meeting party leaders attempted to convince him to retract his statement regarding Mumbai attack or at least keeping silence over the issue in order to control the current intense situation.

However, Nawaz Sharif instead of paying heed to their request reprimanded them and said those who want to leave him can do so whenever they like, otherwise stay strong with him.

The ousted prime minister was briefed about the issues that the party has been facing since his controversial interview.  The sources said that the meeting also discussed about confusion created by the statements of the PML-N lawmakers.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif stressed for immediate control over the prevailing situation, suggesting to him to keep silence over the matter.

Prime Minister Abbasi also advised Nawaz Sharif to keep silence over his interview to English daily; however, Nawaz Sharif said that he would stay the course.

The sources said that the former prime minister had refused to follow his senior lawmakers’ advice and said he has burnt all his boats and will inform the public about the real situation on the ground.

Nawaz reiterated his stance of establishing National Commission, and said everything will be cleared.

Abbasi told Nawaz Sharif that he himself is in favor of National commission but now PML-N government tenure is about to end. He suggested Nawaz Sharif to adopt soft approach.

Nawaz Sharif made it clear that if someone wanted to give justifications for his Mumbai terror attack statement he is allowed to do so.

NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said he agreed with Nawaz Sharif’s point that vote should be given respect and every institution should work within their limitations.

He, however, requested Nawaz Sharif to keep silence over his controversial interview. Nawaz said, “You don’t know what has been going on with him and who is behind all this.” He made it clear that he will keep raising his voice wherever he will be.

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