PML former MPs demandrestoration of Parliament
By Nadeem Syed
LAHORE-The PML(N) parliamentarians, including MNAs and MPAs from all the provinces have demanded immediate restoration of Parliament, saying this could alone bring economic stability in the country.
The call for restoration of Assemblies, including National and Provincial Assemblies and Senate, came at an iftar party hosted by Mian Azhar of the Like-minded Group here Thursday at his residence.
The iftar party turned into a well-attended political gathering where the Muslim Leaguers, mostly from the anti-Nawaz faction, addressed the gathering.The function was also attended by the suspended MNAs, MPAs and Senators from Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP.
According to organisers, over 100 parliamentarians including 71 MNAs attended the gathering. Some fence sitters like Adnan Omer, Ch. Tanvir, and Ch. Ghafoor, were also seen in the gathering who have hitherto avoided intra-party politics.
From other provinces, the dissidents led by Maqbool Sheikh from Sindh, Omer Farooq from NWFP and Jam Yousaf from Balochistan attended the function.
Most of the speakers on this occasion avoided comment on the unfolding leadership crisis in the party while the PML leaders from other provinces urged the senior leaders to pick a person for the top party slot who has the ability and vision to carry along all the provinces.
Nawaz bashing was at its best, especially Nawaz Sharif's exile to Saudi Arabia was exploited by the anti-Nawaz elements, highlighting this in their speeches dubbing it as an unbecoming political act.
The function though held amid a lot of hype fell short of taking some decision about the organisation probably in last minute change of mind on the part of top leadership.
It was expected before the function that it will be a political meeting where organisational decisions will be taken. It has been also reported in a section of Press that Mian Azhar will be made party's convener.
It is now expected that parliamentary party of suspended National Assembly which is scheduled to be held before January 15 2001, will take crucial decisions.
Four resolutions were unanimously adopted on this occasions. Besides, calling for restoration of assemblies, it was stated that a meeting of Parliamentary Party will be held before 15 January, 2001 and elections will be held at all levels in the party. It was stated that economic stability could come only through political stability which could not be achieved without the restoration of assemblies.
Ch Shujaat while speaking on this occasion made it clear that he was not a candidate for any office, including the Party president, or Prime Ministership or any office in the present government.
He said it was high time to rise above the petty interests and work for the betterment and unity of the party. He alleged that Nawaz Sharif's downfall was due to the fact that hypocrites and sycophants surrounded Nawaz Sharif all the time. He said he advised Nawaz Sharif to avoid such elements but he became very arrogant and so his downfall.
Earlier, talking to newsmen, he said that interim set-up would be unacceptable to the Muslim League as only best course of action for the country was restoration of assemblies. He denied that he had any such offer, saying it was his own analysis of the prevailing situation that assemblies would be restored sooner or latter.
He also rejected the new set-up in the party and said that new appointments should be made only through fresh elections in the party.
To a question Shujaat said it was misleading that he was not speaking against the government or he had links with the present set-up saying his family had seen many martial laws since 1958 and suffered a lot at the hands of military government. He said his family never compromised on principles.
Mian Azhar said it was right time that the senior leaders assume control of the party and run it in accordance with the democratic principles. He said it was quite unfortunate that in the past, Punjab remained the fountain of all powers, but in future the Muslim League would make it sure that all provinces get their right share in the decision making process.
Ejaz-ul-Haq stressed the need for political checks and balances to stop the military intervention in the politics. He said an institution like Security Council should be introduced in the system to serve as a bridge between the politicians and military so that in future misunderstandings could be avoided. He said this institution could take an advisory role.
He termed Nawaz Sharif's exile as a tragedy even greater than the East Pakistan debacle. "Nawaz Sharif left the country on December 10, leaving behind everybody, the country, party its workers and leaders in lurch" Ejaz said.
He said it was high time that the party leaders unite its ranks and move forward. He said only united Muslim League could guarantee the restoration of assemblies.
Fakhar Imam underlined the need for giving party a new direction and vision to make it a real Quaid-i-Azam's Muslim League.
Khursheed Mahmud Kasuri called for reforms in the party and said the Muslim League should play its role in reviving the same spirit in all the provinces which existed at the time of Pakistan Movement and on the creation of Pakistan.
Abida Hussain called for restoration of assemblies. "The Muslim League is the symbol of unity of federation and as it was obligatory for the party to play its role in the restoration of assemblies to ensure the rights of all the provinces.
She said it was quite paradoxical that some people called for restoration of democracy but they did not want restoration of assemblies.
She said it was due to the fault of Nawaz Sharif that the assemblies were suspended and since he had gone to Jeddah so the assemblies should be restored.
Syed Shabbir Hussain, Ghous Buksh Mah, Omar Farooq, Shahzada Mohiuddin Abdul Karim Nosheerwani, Jam Yousaf, also spoke on this occasion.
They called for unity in the party ranks. They also called for appointing a suitable party President who could give a new direction and vision to the party.
Those 71 MNAs who attended the gathering are in the following: Mian Muhammad Azhar, Mian Muhammad Zaman, Maulana Moeenuddin Lakhvi, Mian Waheed, Prince Mohyuddin, Shahid Mehdi Naseem, Sardar Mansoor Hayat Taman, Sikandar Hayat Mahli, Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, Shujaat Ali Khan, Ch Abdus Sattar (Toba), Prince Farooq Anwar Abbasi, Sahibzada Faizul Hasan, Saimon Jaicob Gill (Minority), Nasir Ali Baloch, Ch Shujaat Hussain, Syed Sajjad Haider, Syed Manzoor Hussain Shah, Anwar Ali Cheema, Kamil Ali Agha, Syed Munir Syed (FATA), Malik Aurangzeb, Haji Inayatullah Khan, Adnan Hayat Noon, Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri, Ijazul Haq, Abdus Sattar Lalekaa, Jam Mohammad Yousaf, Ghulam Abbas Qureshi, Makhdoom Amaduddin, Nawab Salahuddin, Mian Ata Qureshi, Ch Amir Hussain, Ch Ahmed Raza, Sardar Atif Ali Sanjrani, Abida Hussain, Fakhar Imam, Naeem Hussain Chattha, Omar Farooq Miankhel, Tariq Aziz, Ghous Bakhsh Mehr, Syed Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Syed Shaukat Ali Shah, Pir Noor Mohammad Shah Jilani, Syed Shafqat Ali shah, Ch Muhammad Sarwar, Rana Tanvir, Ghulam Haider ??????, Maqbool Khan Niazi, Dr Noor Muhammad Ghafari, Ch Abdul Ghafoor, Ch Muhammad Ashraf, Raja Muhammad Afzal, Humayun Akhtar Khan, Mian Muhammad Munir, Malik Muhammad Aslam, Rao Qaiser Ali Khan, Nasrullah Dareshak, Asghar Khan, Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Ashiq Diyal, Ghias Mela, Syed Shaukat Ali Shah, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Nawab Aman Siyal, Alhaj Muhammad Khan, Haji Abid Rashid, Ch Mubashar Hasan, Aqil ur Rehman.
Jilani, Syed Shafqat Ali shah, Ch Muhammad Sarwar, Rana Tanvir, Ghulam Haider ??????,
Maqbool Khan Niazi, Dr Noor Muhammad Ghafari, Ch Abdul Ghafoor, Ch Muhammad Ashraf, Raja
Muhammad Afzal, Humayun Akhtar Khan, Mian Muhammad Munir, Malik Muhammad Aslam, Rao Qaiser
Ali Khan, Nasrullah Dareshak, Asghar Khan, Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Ashiq Diyal, Ghias
Mela, Syed Shaukat Ali Shah, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Nawab Aman Siyal, Alhaj Muhammad Khan,
Haji Abid Rashid, Ch Mubashar Hasan, Aqil ur Rehman.