LAHORE -  After its prudent handling of the Lahore sit-in, the Punjab government has successfully averted yet another crisis which was actually an offshoot of the previous one.

The issue of resignation of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah as demanded by a religious group has been averted for the time being after successful intervention of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif who has convinced Pir Hameeduddin of Sial Sharif to defer his demands for the time being.

The government was under tremendous pressure from the religious groups seeking resignation of the law minister for his remarks about Ahmadi community.

Pir Hameeduddin had given December 3 deadline for resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah who had allegedly uttered objectionable remarks over the issue of Khatm-e-Nabuwat. 

On Saturday last, a religious group led by Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali announced to call off the sit-in after negotiations with the PML-N ministers who convinced him to leave the matter to Pir Hameeduddin having similar issues with the government.

On Sunday, Shehbaz made a telephonic contact with Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi and assured him that his reservations will be addressed very soon. 

Shehbaz also told Pir Hameeduddin that he would personally visit Astana Aliya Siyal Sharif to meet him in the next few days to address his grievances on the issue. The chief minister termed it a serious matter which needed proper time to be resolved. He also said that he would himself look into it. 

Pir Sahib, in turn, expressed his confidence on the assurance of the chief minister and agreed to defer the issue for some time. PML-N legislator from Sargodha Ghulam Nizamuddin Sialvi also confirmed that the matter had been deferred to be settled for some other time in the near future.

Earlier, the chief minister had sent Provincial Minister Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri to meet the Pir from Sargodha but he failed to get any favourable response from him. Pir Hameeduddin had told the minister that he had the resignations of 14 PML-N parliamentarians in his pocket who would resign under his command if the government did not accept his demands. He had then also threatened to lead a rally to Lahore to stage a sit-in there.   

In a TV talk show last week, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had also agreed to visit the Pir and address his concerns. On the issue of his resignation , however, Rana said he was ready to resign if Mian Nawaz Sharif asked him to do so.  

Before contacting Pir Hameeduddin, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had a meeting with Nawaz Sharif at his Raiwind residence. The issue of Sana’s resignation also came under discussion, besides agenda of party’s CEC scheduled for Monday (today).

According to sources, it was in this meeting that Nawaz Sharif asked the chief minister to talk to Pir of Sial Sharif to negotiate an amicable settlement of the matter.