ISLAMABAD - The issue of disenchanted parliamentarians in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is still alive, because most of their concerns and demands have not been met despite the promises made with them at the level of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Sources informed The Nation that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his meetings with close party aides had shown his displeasure and concern over the lingering issue, which kept on resulting in embarrassment to the ruling alliance throughout the last National Assembly session wherein the treasury had badly failed to maintain quorum.

On face of it the disgruntled members like Najaf Abbass Sail, Raza Hayat Hiraj, Sh Mohammad Akram and other parliamentarians from central and southern Punjab districts dispelled the impression of any discord with the party leaders, but most of them in their private and off the record comments speak out their heart against the federal cabinet members and the party leadership for ignoring them.

Sources in the party informed that Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab could not manage the quorum in the house, as he was assigned the task by the prime minister to ensure that presence of the members during the session.

The members kept on defying the party discipline and despite repeated instructions and directions by the party leadership, refused to attend the National Assembly proceedings to the utter embarrassment on part of the government which had failed to maintain quorum and the session has to be put off due to it.

Previously when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in London in connection with his open heart surgery a number of party MPs had started making quorum problem for the government during the budget session.

Taking notice of the cracks in the party ranks Ms Maryam Nawaz, who unofficially holding the reins of government at that time, called these MPs and promised that their genuine concerns would be resolved as soon as the PM would return back.

Later on the direction of PM Nawaz, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had called a meeting of these dissidents in Murree and assured them of resolution of all their problems, including the provision of development funds for their respective constituencies.

One of the dissident leaders, who did not want to disclose his identity, informed that some of their concerns were addressed but the attitude of the federal cabinet members with rest of their party colleagues in the Parliament has not changed and they are as rude to them as they were previously.

The senior party leaders and some of the cabinet members downplayed the issue but they too admitted that a few party parliamentarians have some concerns regarding the resolution of the problems in their respective constituencies.

“Such minor issues do exist in the national political parties, especially those that are in power, as it is extremely difficult to appease and satisfy each and every parliamentarian or adjust him in the federal cabinet,” these party leaders explained.

The sources said that soon after the Panama Papers revelations Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had started meeting the party MPs and also announced massive grants for development projects in their respective constituencies but that process was halted owing to his surgery.

In his absence the senior cabinet members continued to give cold shoulder to the party MPs as they were not ready to listen to their issues and problems what to speak of any respite to them, an MNA from southern Punjab said, but he did not want his name to be quoted.

A veteran parliamentarian said that it was embarrassing for the government which was solely responsible to maintain quorum has been continuously failing to meet it. He further said that party leadership needed to resolve the issues resulting in the inner-party frictions which if not addressed right now would turn more problematic in coming days.

Another party source said that there was a group of aspirants who wanted to become part of the cabinet but with no chance of getting berth in the cabinet they have lost hope and become dormant, and they are not playing active role in the parliament as well as party affairs.