LAHORE - PML-F head Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi commonly known as Pir Pagara on Thursday called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed matters related to his party’s alliance with the PML- N at the federal government level.
According to sources, Pir Pagara, while reminding the PM of the promises made with his party, demanded for giving more powers to his party minister and special adviser. Sources said that Pir Pagara in a decent way groused that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, during his visit to Karachi to win the PML-F backing for the government, had made certain commitment which still awaited fulfilment.
Sources claimed that the PML-F was promised to be given the important ministry of Port and Shipping but it was ended up at Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development which was merged into one to create a new ministerial slot in July last. Sources said that the PML-F chief put across the PM about the lack of powers to this ministry which is being held by his son, Pirzada Sadruddin Shah Rashidi. He also grumbled that the PML-F general secretary Imtiaz Sheikh, who is serving as the Special Assistant to the PM and enjoying the status of a state minister, has not been delegated due powers and independence of work. Sources said that the prime minister gave ears to the PML-F chief’s view point and ensured the concerns to be resolved.
Sources in the PML-N said that many of the party members did not have favourable stand on giving the F-League more than what it already had.
A section of the party men particularly from Sindh has concerns over the PML-F overtures to join the PPP in the recent past. This section also believes that 10-party political alliance headed by the PML-F disserved the PML-N in Sindh where the party, particularly in Karachi sacrificed some important seats in favour of others when it could have performed better. It also views that given the situation the party position and strength in Sindh is in lacklustre and any move to leave further space for others at this point in time, would put the PML-N further down.
It may be mentioned here that the PML-F over the last few months is facing difficult situation after it showed leaning towards the PPP. Through some media reports, the PML-F transpired that it was about to join the PPP government in Sindh as it was not fully satisfied with the alliance at the federal level.
PML-F’s Imtiaz Sheikh had left the party slot allegedly differing with the party leadership. However, the party leadership didn’t accept the resignation of Sheikh who then was poised to fly for Dubai to meet Asif Ali Zardari. The sources said that the option of joining the PPP government in Sindh was still not off the table and the current meeting with the PM may help the PML-F determine its future political course.