The prime minister has offered to make the deposed chief justice head of the constitutional court, insiders in the PML-N told Dawn on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made the offer during a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday, the insider said.
The Charter of Democracy (CoD) envisaged the setting up of such a court to adjudicate on matters requiring interpretation of the constitution.
According to sources, the PML-N is in a dither over the timing of the lawyers’ sit-in, slated for March 16— four days after the beginning of the long march.
The PML-N has reportedly asked lawyers leadership to extend the date by at least two weeks – a concession lawyers are not ready to accept.
According to party insiders, two factors had forced the PML-N to drag its feet on the sit-in issue. The party wants to derive maximum political mileage from the extended long march and provide more time to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to deliver on promises he made to Shahbaz Sharif on Monday.
In another development, a ‘guest’ from Saudi Arabia met Nawaz Sharif at his Raiwind residence on Tuesday night.
Meeting between PML-N chief and guest was kept secret and most party leaders did not know any thing about it.
Some party leaders named the guest as Shaikh Saeed, according to them, even the personal staff of the former prime minister was not allowed to enter the room during meeting.
Sources said that some PML-N leaders met lawyers’ leaders in Islamabad and tried to persuade them to extend the date for sit-in.
The PML-N was of the view that it would be really hard for party workers to start the march on March 12 and reach Islamabad in four days – on March 16. They said the party workers needed some more time to reach Islamabad.
The lawyers’ leaders, however, were not ready to ‘let any political party call the shorts’ as it was their own movement.
They did not agree to extend the date. However they assured PML-N leaders to take up the matter with their central leadership.
According to the party insiders, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif told Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that the PML-N would not make any demand over the next four years if Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was restored to his position.
The sources said that Tuesday’s PML-N request to lawyers was an outcome of the meeting between prime minister and the chief minister.
They said the PML-N now wanted to give more time to the prime minister by postponing the sit-in, but keeping political pressure on through long march.