LAHORE - Endorsing Mian Nawaz Sharif’s decision to support JUI-F’s Azadi march, a PML-N meeting chaired by Mian Shehbaz Sharif here Saturday decided to send a party delegation to Maulana Fazlur Rehman to sort out modalities for the anti-government protest.

“Today’s meeting has fully endorsed Mian Nawaz Sharif’s letter directing party men to participate in the anti-government campaign,” party’s Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal told media after the meeting which discussed contents of Nawaz Sharif’s letter written to Mian Shehbaz Sharif two days back.  Ahsan said that there could be difference of opinion in the party but Mian Nawaz Sharif’s decision will eventually prevail [over all other opinions].

“This party has only one ideology; and this is the ideology of Mian Nawaz Sharif. Every party member and worker shares this ideology. His vision, philosophy and politics run in party’s soul,” Ahsan remarked, leaving no doubt in anybody’s mind, that party stood with Nawaz Sharif on his decision to support Maulana’s long march.

PML-N secretary general further stated that Nawaz Sharif was in agreement with the objectives of the planned Azadi March and also wanted the party to play its role to get rid of the present regime.

Party delegation to meet Fazl today to sort out modalities for anti-govt protest

Ahsan Iqbal told reporters that Shehbaz Sharif during the meeting read out contents of the letter detailing a comprehensive strategy for the PML-N and also desired to share the same with the JUI-F chief. Ahsan announced that a party delegation comprising senior leaders will meet Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday (today) to discuss modalities for the anti-government protest in the light of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s letter.

Party sources later disclosed that the PML-N delegation scheduled to meet the JUI-F chief today will include Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Ameer Muqam. The meeting will take place at Peshawar at 8 pm, they said.

Rejecting rumours of differences among the party leadership, Ahsan Iqbal clarified that there was no division of any sort in the party. “Entire party is united and has full confidence in Nawaz Sharif’s leadership,” he affirmed.

Replying to a question, Ahsan said that party President Shehbaz Sharif was having backache but media was giving it a different colouring. “People also made stories out of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz’s disease,” he deplored, adding that it was not right to politicise the diseases of political leaders.

He said Shehbaz Sharif as party president enjoyed full confidence of party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and will continue to hold this position. “There is no division or differences among party leadership,” he asserted.

Ahsan also clarified that only three persons in the party were qualified to issue policy statements on important issues. “They include party president, general secretary and party’s secretary information. If anybody else [from the party] issues any statement, it would be considered his or her personal opinion,” he said while speaking in the context of statements issued by Captain Safdar in the last couple of days.

Also, yesterday’s PML-N meeting was conspicuous by absence of senior party leaders like Raja Zafarul Haq and Senator Pervaiz Rashid. These leaders among others were part of the party meeting which took place on Wednesday last.

When contacted, Pervaiz Rashid said he was not invited to attend Saturday’s meeting. “As a matter of fact, I have not been invited to attend important party meetings for the last one and half year. Wednesday’s meeting was an exception,” he said.

In a lighter vein though, the PML-N Senator went on to say: “It is not news that I was not invited to attend Saturday’s meeting. The news is that I was invited to attend Wednesday’s meeting [after a long time].”