Feb 25, 2009

PML-N chalks out three-pronged strategy

The PML-N on Wednesday chalked out a three-pronged strategy – using street power, challenging Governor’s Rule in the court and official protest in the provincial assembly – for dealing with the post-disqualification scenario.
The most difficult part of the strategy turned out to be the legal challenge to the Governor’s Rule due to the party’s position viz-a-viz the present judicial set up. Since the party does not recognize the current courts, it was trying to find ways to throw the legal challenge.
The party had convened a late night meeting of its legal eagles to find ways ‘as it did not want the Governor’s Rule to go unchallenged.’ The party is expected to move against it through some third party arrangements. The meeting was still going on till the filing of this report.
On the second prong, it had marked Thursday (today) as official protest day against the court decision. The party, though a little bit encouraged by Wednesday’s spontaneous popular reaction against the verdict, was not fully satisfied with its magnitude.
According to the party insiders, all the MNAs have been directed to arrange workers for the Thursday protest. The party is trying to keep the protest peaceful and fears that some ‘unseen hands’ might ignite the situation if its parliamentarians are not part of the protests and keep a vigil on such chances.
The party had also directed its parliamentarians to reach Lahore by Thursday evening for ‘consultations to sustain protest campaign keep workers worked up for the next few weeks.’
On the third prong, the party had decided to take up the matter in national and provincial assemblies. On Wednesday evening, it submitted convening of the Punjab Assembly with 95 signatures. The provincial assembly was convened by 8pm and protest against the verdict and the Governor’s Rule started.
At the national level, Ch. Nisar Ali Khan had started gathering signatures for convening the national assembly and the request for NA convening might be submitted by Thursday (today) morning. The party, however, was not sure when the Speaker National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, would call the session.
The federal government pre-empted the Punjab Assembly session by declaring two-month Governor’s Rule but some 132 MPAs made it to the assembly and started protesting against the court verdict, which was going on till the filing of this report..
Meanwhile, the party has also charged Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa with keeping the party intact in Punjab. The party feared loss of some of its MPAs, especially after the reported meeting of more than 10 party MPAs with Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo last month.
The party has decided to first save its existing MPAs and then work on the forward bloc created out of the PML-Q. The forward bloc leader Mian Atta Muhammad Maneka is also expected to meet deposed Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday (today) to reiterate his support and devise future strategy.

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