Criticising the government’s financial, legal and administrative policies, Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday he would no longer remain a silent spectator to the situation. “We’ve serious reservations about how the government is being run. I’m not using the word ‘warning’ for the government, but time has come to take a decision,” Sharif said at a press conference called immediately after he had been given a briefing on social projects of the Punjab government and held a consultative meeting with party office-bearers at the chief minister’s secretariat. Political observers said the PML-N might have decided to shun its ‘friendly’ posture and gradually mount pressure for mid-term elections because of a perception that the Pakistan People’s Party was working on a strategy to ‘take over’ Punjab. The PPP made a similar attempt in 2008. At the meeting, PML-N office-bearers reportedly gave their opinion on the scenario that might emerge if the situation ‘drifted’ towards mid-term polls and as a result of the issue of bogus degrees of legislators and party’s re-organisation. Sources said the PML-N was not categorically demanding mid-term polls at this stage because it was yet to remove ‘misunderstandings’ with the ‘powers that matter’. However, they said, it might try to fuel an anti-PPP campaign after Ramazan. Sharif said there were no signs of improvement and he was taking stock of the situation. He said a special session of the National Assembly would be requisitioned to discuss the issues. Sharif said his party had been tolerating taunts of being a ‘friendly opposition’ only for the sake of democracy, but was ready to play its role if the government did not mend its ways. Accusing the people in power of conspiring against the judiciary, the former prime minister said he was determined to foil any conspiracy. He alleged the government was trying to start a confrontation with the judiciary because judges were being browbeaten, their verdicts were not being implemented and ministers convicted by courts were being granted pardon. Referring to the distribution of funds among various bar associations by the federal law minister, he said it was meant to buy loyalty of the legal fraternity. He ‘saluted’ the bars that had declined to accept the funds and said the judiciary was being undermined by dividing lawyers. Claiming credit for blocking the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), he said the law should have been applied to all prisoners and not to only a few influential people. Citing a report, he said the country had been listed among the most corrupt nations. Rs300 billion is being embezzled in various state entities while the government is seeking Rs120 billion loans from international institutions on harsh terms. The PML-N chief said that contrary to a cabinet decision incompetent people were being appointed on important posts. He said a law associate who could not even draft a summary had been posted as the law secretary. The former prime minister demanded that army generals should also be held accountable, along with politicians. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was present on the occasion.
By: Dawn News