PML(N)'s ultimatum to PPP

INDIGNATION: Supports of Pakistan People's Party mourn the death of Punjab Governor Salman Taser in Islamabad on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: B.K.Bangash

Minutes before Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's assassination in the federal capital overtook the headlines, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) sounded a three-day ultimatum to the Pakistan People's Party-led government to shape up.

Setting an interim agenda for the federal government — which was reduced to a minority on Sunday with the withdrawal of support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) — the former Prime Minister and PML(N) chief, Nawaz Sharif, indicated that if the government accepted it in clear terms within three days, then there may be no cause for worry.

“We want an answer in ‘yes' or ‘no'. And, if the answer is no, then we will ask the opposition parties to support the agenda and work towards realising it. Also, it will mean a parting of ways in Punjab [where the PML-N shares power with the PPP],” Mr. Sharif told the media after his party's top leadership met in the capital to take stock of the political situation and formulate its own response.

The interim agenda the PML(N) has set for the federal dispensation includes rollback of a recent hike in the prices of petroleum products, regulation of power and gas tariffs besides a 30-per-cent cut in government expenditure.

Referring to the agenda, Mr. Sharif said this was doable and if the government accepted it, then the PML(N) would give it another 45 days — till February 20 — to implement these measures. The interim agenda, according to him, had been culled out from a broader agenda that he listed but maintained was beyond the ability of the current government to implement.

The PML(Q) leadership also met in the capital to evolve its response to the political crisis facing the government but there was no word forthcoming as Mr. Taseer's assassination pushed aside all other issues for the time being. On Monday, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had met the leadership of the PML(N) and PML(Q) to shore up support for his tottering government.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 7:39:41 AM |

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