LAHORE - PML-N stands totally ignored in the government affairs as well as on political matters. The PML-N constitution defines a groundwork role for the party before it takes decisions at government level, but all brainstorming and decision making has been seen by a bunch of the party men closely related to the leadership.

To deal with elections and other issues, the PML-N has two sets of countrywide representation through the Central Working Committee (CWC) and the General Council. With varying strength, both the party forums have been required to meet after prescribed intervals to discuss and take decisions. The CWC with 53 central and 12 provincial members have to meet after every three months and the General Council, comprising about 3,000 members after six months. Not that but on any event of emergency either of the two can be convened to meet according to the nature of the issues.

The main role to approve the government policies has been entrusted to the CWC of the party which has been dormant for more than three years. It seems the CWC is important only at the time of general elections when the party is not in power. One important function of the CWC is to show trust in the countrywide party representation in an issue, decision or policy.

In its manifesto, PML-N has been credited as a visionary party with a team of experienced and competent persons to build the country as per dreams of the founding father. The party was also mentioned a backup of the government to help it evolve political consensus on all major issues and to bring about a real change in the institutional, political culture and socio economic conditions of the country. The party has also been made responsible for promoting provincial harmony. Most importantly, the party has been given significance to keep a close liaison with the voters as well as to monitor how much the roadmap for progress and prosperity, as laid down in the manifesto, has been carried out. For this purpose, PML-N has set up sub–committees on different subsectors or issues consisting of all the stakeholders to work out detailed implementation plans with cost estimates and a realistic timeframe.

Last time the General Council met on July 27, 2011, to elect Nawaz Sharif as the party president and on February 2012 to elect his brother Shehbaz Sharif as the Punjab president. The PML-N CWC was quite active before the elections. In October 2011, the CWC took serious note of the power crisis, price hike and other problems in the PPP rule and decided to highlight the same among the public. It very successfully kept the PPP government under pressure on these counts throughout. It met again before in 2013 to discuss the May election matters and strategy, but after that it did not meet.

During the PTI sit-in in 2014, a section of PML-N legislators strongly demanded a CWC meeting to frame a line of action, but the demand was not fulfilled. The PML-N succeeded in mustering support in the parliament against dharna, but political observers say the background support to the party leaders through CWC could make the job easier.

Currently, the Panama leaks issue is in the limelight; voices are raised for convening a CWC meeting and taking the party into confidence on the allegations levelled by the opposition parties with reference to offshore companies of the Sharifs, but no meeting has so far been called.

A party representative says a CWC meeting is not being convened to minimise influence of the party on the government affairs. On the condition of not being named, he said CWC is used for the party matters only. However, some other party men do not agree to it.

Political observers say the PML-N government praises China where the ruling Communist Party plays an active role in the government affairs to help it manage things in a better way. “Our government also desires to strengthen PML-N relations with the Communist Party, but actually it is not active in this regard,” they say.