RAMZAN CHANDIO/Abrar Saeed
In an attempt to mend the fissures in the Sindh chapter of the party, PML-N leadership has called the party's parliamentarians and Sindh Assembly MPAs in federal capital.
Alleging that the central leadership of party was not taking input from them on Sindh’s issues and has been ignoring them in development projects, the PML-N lawmakers from Sindh had recently warned to leave the party and sit in the provincial assembly as independent members.
Right now Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has three members of National Assembly and eight members of Sindh Assembly. Taking notice of the matter, Prime Minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has summoned the annoyed party members to hear their grievances. Party sources said the annoyed party men would meet with President Mamnoon Hussain and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif today (Tuesday) and with the prime minister tomorrow (Wednesday).
When contacted, PML-N Parliamentary Leader in Sindh Assembly Irfan Ullah Khan Marwat told The Nation that they would brief the prime minister and the president about their problems as federal government was continuously ignoring them in development works as well as in policy making on Sindh matters.
When asked about any specific issues with the party leadership, Marwat said that as they are going to meet with the central leadership, so he would restrain from going into any details of the issues. He however said that Sindh chapter of the party has serious reservations and they wanted to get these redressed in a proper fashion. He said they would also share their views about replacement of present Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad in these meetings.
Another PML-N MPA in Sindh Assembly and former Sindh chief minister, Arbab Ghulam Rahim said that he has come to Islamabad on the direction of Shahbaz Sharif and was unaware about the agenda of the meeting. When his attention was drawn toward the remarks of some of his party colleagues, he remarked, “You better ask these questions from those uttering such things on media."
Sources in the party informed that the response from the top echelons of party towards the Sindh chapter was a bit late because a few days back Irfan Ullah Marwat burst out in frustration and gave an ultimatum to the party top brass to listen to them within a week otherwise they would devise their own course to handle the things.
Realising the gravity of the situation PML-N Punjab chief Shahbaz Sharif rushed in to handle the worsening party affairs in Sindh, a PPP and MQM stronghold where they had made serious efforts to make inroads even by engaging the nationalists in a grand electoral alliance – but with little success.
Sources aware of behind the scene developments informed that PML-N Sindh MPs were perturbed over the way party chief Nawaz Sharif was ignoring them and not paying any heed to their genuine concerns regarding the party affairs in the province. The party MPs were also of the view that on his visits to Karachi the prime minister never bothered to even meet with them what to speak of engaging or taking their input on the law and order meetings and other official engagements in the port city.
They were also critical of the way Nawaz is running the party in the province on ‘ad-hoc basis’ with almost all the major slots in the provincial chapter vacant. Sindh chapter of the party was dissolved after the resignation of PML-N Sindh President Syed Ghous Ali Shah in August last and PML-N leader Salim Zia was made chief organiser of the party and since then he is looking after the affairs of the party's provincial chapter.
Disappointed and dejected by the indifferent attitude of central leadership toward the affairs of the party in the province Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi had also parted ways with the party while Mumtaz Bhutto, who had merged his party in PML-N before the elections, also left the party for what he termed the complete indifference of Nawaz Sharif toward the party affairs in the province.