Friday, July 14, 2017

Pakistan: Senior minister tells PM Sharif to see the writing on the wall after damning #PanamaPapers report


Sources within PML-N said the minister has been a 'dissenter at large' in the party who has never indulged in sycophancy and blind support of perceived wrong doings of the regime.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Daily Times
By Marvi Sirmed | July 14, 2017

In yesterday's meeting of the cabinet, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started the last agenda item, i.e., the issue of the popular demand for his resignation, the response of the ministers was predictable. That is, approval of PM's decision to not resign, followed by an applause. But not all the ministers were in a mood to please their leader.

According to sources privy to the proceedings of the meeting, when the Prime Minister opened the discussion on this agenda item, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had no qualms offering his leader his honest advice. Sources have confirmed to Daily Times that the minister categorically said in the meeting, “Mr. Prime Minister, now only a miracle can save you”. He was implying, as per those present in the meeting, that the PM should see the writing on the walls and must take a decision on the matter keeping in view the ground realities and the serious problems he was facing.

The PM reportedly got worked up the interior minister’s comment and told him that he should have expressed his opinion in private rather than in the cabinet meeting.

According to the official, the participants of the cabinet meeting had started thumping their desks when the PM said he had no intention of resigning in the wake of the damning report of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed on orders of the SC to probe money laundering allegations against the PM and his family.

Sources within PML-N said the minister has been a 'dissenter at large' in the party who has never indulged in sycophancy and blind support of perceived wrong doings of the regime.

When asked about the information, the office of the PM refused to comment, while a spokesperson for the interior ministry said he was not privy to this discussion. Daily Times, nonetheless, spoke to two different sources and got the same information.

Meanwhile, Islamabad remained abuzz with rumours that a forward bloc from PML-N was ready to ditch Sharif. This scribe has learnt through a reliable source that at least 40 PML-N MNAs have been contacted by a senior leader of PML-Q. While the ruling party's MNAs have given no commitment, they have been open to discussion. It should be remembered that many PML-Q politicians had defected to the Nawaz league before the 2013 elections and others joined Nawaz Sharif's camp once he gained power. Speaking to Daily Times, an analyst stated “this is nothing new as politicians from the Punjab sense which way the wind is blowing and change parties. They have been continuing this practice since the country's inception.”

The consensus within close circles to PML-N is that Sharif will not resign. The battle in the SC might linger for months now. But it seems that Nawaz Sharif’s last year will be the toughest for his government and his political future.


Read original post here: Pakistan: Senior minister tells PM Sharif to see the writing on the wall after damning #PanamaPapers report


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