Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif has dropped some potent hints to unseat Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and among them a move to form a grand opposition alliance against the government.
Nawaz emphasised that pushing Gilani to resign was the party’s ‘final decision’. Nawaz said the PML-N would contact Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), all the nationalist parties of Sindh and Balochistan and even the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)– a rising party considered the PML-N’s chief political opponent, to form an alliance against the Gilani government.
Nawaz warned of launching a countrywide mass movement against the government if Gilani did not step down after his conviction by the Supreme Court last week. “Obey the Supreme Court verdict. Abandon the premiership or face a protest movement,” Nawaz said, addressing Gilani.
“This is the decision of the people of Pakistan and I announce it as the representative of the masses,” he added. However, Nawaz did not explicitly elaborate the modalities of his planned mass movement. On the other hand, the PTI’s reaction to working with the PML-N was lukewarm.
“Nawaz Sharif’s track record is a story of unfulfilled promises and false commitments as he let down fellow opposition parties on every occasion… so how can we trust him this time,” said Shafqat Mehmood, PTI’s information secretary and media manager.
“We’ll chalk out our own strategy to pressurise the government to comply with the Supreme Court decision,” Mehmood added. JI’s spokesperson Ameerul Azeem said the party was in favour of evolving cooperation among all political forces against the government.
“The bottom line is we want a movement to bring down the government,” The Express Tribune quoted Ameerul, as saying. A JUI-F spokesperson said the party did not want any confrontation between the government and the judiciary.
“I think there is still confusion in the prime minister’s contempt. The court has not explicitly said that he is disqualified,” said MPA Mufti Kafayatullah. “We are not in a hurry. We will decide our line of action when all these issues are settled,” he added.