ISLAMABAD - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday held meeting with select party leaders, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and discussed overall political situation in the country and the hostile position he has taken and its impact on the party in the upcoming general elections.

Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed The Nation that a clear divide among the party leadership was visible as some of the voices were against the hostile position taken by Nawaz Sharif, especially his statements rebutting the National Security Committee unanimous condemnation of his (Nawaz) remarks on Mumbai attack and dubbing it ‘baseless and misleading’.

However, the hawks in the party were dominating and driving the situation and fully backing the hostile and aggressive position taken by Nawaz Sharif, the fresh in the line was his intention to expose the real characters behind 2014 PTI dharna at an appropriate time.

The party leaders with hawkish tendency were of the view that right now they were riding the tide of popularity only because of the hostile position taken by party Quaid Nawaz Sharif who in his public addresses vowed to establish the supremacy of civilian rule and restore the sanctity of the vote. They believed that if the party would keep up this momentum no one could come in the way of sweeping victory of the party in upcoming general elections.

Insiders in the party informed that a good number of party MPs were not comfortable with the policy of Nawaz Sharif to hit at the state institutions and to bring their credibility in question. Some of them had also raised this point in their meeting with other senior party leaders, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who too have to face embarrassment due to the extreme position taken by party Quaid Nawaz Sharif making it difficult for him to defend him.

Later in a meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and party chief Shahbaz Sharif both of them had tried to convince Nawaz to tone down his hostile position taken against the state institutions, as it would not be in the interest of the party.

The issue of growing resentment in some of the party MPs also came under discussion and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi conveyed the concern of these MPs to party Quaid because most of them were unhappy over the statement of Nawaz Sharif about the Mumbai terror attack.

Similarly, the premier also informed the party Quaid about the concern of military leadership about the provocative and misleading comments like the one rejecting the NSC statement on his Mumbai terror attack.

The issue of caretaker setup also figured in the meeting and all the three were of unanimous view that the matter must be resolved at first stage i.e. between the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also informed the party Quaid about the likely passage of budget in a next couple of days for which he had already directed the party MPs, in a farewell breakfast he had hosted in their honour, to ensure their presence in the house so that the quorum issue could effectively be addressed.

The National Assembly session was forced to adjourn today when someone from opposition side has pointed out that house is lacking quorum.

Sources further said that the issues relating to 30th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017 also figured in the meeting. Premier Abbasi informed party Quaid that due to some constitutional intricacies the matter could be delayed.

Party Quaid stressed the need for passage of the bill regarding FATA reforms and its merger plan from the incumbent National Assembly.



Hawks dominate party debate on Nawaz’s hostile position