LAHORE – The PML-N decided to defend democracy and leave no margin for the ‘undemocratic forces’ in a meeting in Raiwind on Tuesday which was called to review the situation emerged after the long march of Dr Tahirul Qadri.

PML-N President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif presided over the meeting which was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Pervez Rashid, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan.

The participants decided to meet again today to discuss the overall political situation in the country which turned ambivalent after the Supreme Court decision for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and others in the rental power plant case and the demands of Qadri.

According to PML-N sources, the party leadership decided to save democracy under all circumstances and the opposition would invite the government to discuss and finalise the date for the next elections as well as caretaker set up to quell conspires against the democracy.

Chairing the meeting, Nawaz Sharif said: “The PML-N wants survival of democracy and would not let it derail at any cost. He said that the people are awakened to the situation and they would not let any conspirator to play his game against the system. No more puppet show could be allowed in the country.”

The participants of the meeting said the long march targeted the PML-N whose prospects to form the next government were bright but its rivals were supporting Qadri’s move to avert elections and derail the system.

Sources say that the meeting opined that possible arrest of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf would complicate the situation, providing chance to undemocratic forces to play their game. “The participants believed that the announcement of general elections would ward off threats to democracy.”

Sources said that the PML-N decided to approach other parties to save the system and Nawaz Sharif had already contacted Maulana Fazlur Rahman to discuss the situation. The party may also talk to ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, they added.

In his post meeting media briefing, Khawaja Saad Rafique said the formal meeting will be held on Wednesday in which the party would decide about the demands of Qadri and the SC verdict on rental power project case. It is clear to everyone that corruption took place in the rental power plants but timing of the Supreme Court decision is significant, he said.

Turning down Qadri’s demands, he said in the given circumstances country could not afford the adventurism which Qadri wanted to perform. “It is true that PML-N and all other parties are sick of the federal government but change must come through the ballot only.”

He said the country suffered a lot whenever the change was brought by the men in uniform. To a question, he said ‘elections are just 55 days away but certain invisible forces do not want them to be held’.

 He said the invisible forces would be exposed to the masses in 72 hours.

The PML-N leader said that the caretaker government must be formed with consensus among all stakeholders inside and outside parliament.