LAHORE    -   PML-N President Mian Shehbaz Sharif has called yet another party meeting on Saturday (today) to come to a decision on the JUI-F’s protest march starting from October 27.

It would be the second meeting of party high-ups in the last four days though a number of meetings have already taken place before on the same issue.

Saturday’s meeting has become more important as it is taking place in the wake of party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif’s arrest by the NAB authorities. Nawaz would no longer be in contact with party men as long as he remains in the custody of the anti-graft body. Also, it is significant because Shehbaz Sharif is now in receipt of a letter from his elder brother detailing different aspects of party’s strategy about the planned Azadi march.

The PML-N meeting which took place Wednesday last prepared recommendations for the party Quaid Nawaz Sharif to seek his advice on the proposed anti-government protest orchestrated by the JUI-F. Shehbaz Sharif was scheduled to meet his brother along with the proposals last Thursday but he could not make it reportedly due to backache. This fuelled speculations in the media about the alleged differences between the two brothers on this particular issue.

However, party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb rejected these rumours as baseless and misleading. She said Shehbaz Sharif will not ditch his brother till his death.

Speaking in the contest of today’s meeting, party sources said that Shehbaz Sharif will take the party men into confidence about the contents of a letter he has just received from Nawaz Sharif. According to Captain Safdar, the son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, this letter has also been dispatched to Hussain Nawaz currently residing in London.

Senior party leader Parvez Rashid Friday said that the letter has been sent to Hussain Nawaz as a precautionary measure in anticipation of large scale arrests of senior PML-N leaders ahead of the planned long march.

Also, many have questioned the rationale behind calling of Saturday’s party meeting in a situation when the PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif has already announced to support Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s anti-government move. In his media talk at the accountability court yesterday, Nawaz Sharif minced no words when he said: “We fully support Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Maulana’s stance [on long march] is our stance”. He also said that it will be totally wrong to reject what Maulana is saying.

But it is noteworthy that despite declaring unequivocal support for the Maulana, Nawaz Sharif did not specifically mentioned that PML-N would be part of the planned sit-in in the capital. It is so because pledging support for Azadi march is one thing and active participation in the sit-in is another; just as PPP would be supporting the JUI-F’s rallies passing from Sindh but its workers will not be part of the sit-in.