While Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani calmly shrugged off talk of there being any threat to his party from the PTI’s monumental rise, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was more frantic – alleging that there was a concerted effort to undermine the PML-N, using parties such as the PTI, and saying he had evidence to support this claim.
Though it had been fluid for a while, the political landscape was shaken by the PTI’s mammoth October 30 rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, the seat of power in Punjab, long considered the bastion of the PML-N’s power. Even before the Lahore rally, with PTI’s major political activity taking place in urban Punjab constituencies, analysts and observers concluded that the rise of Imran Khan’s PTI would hurt the PML-N the most.
The Lahore rally seemed to drive this point home emphatically for the PML-N, which has, since then, been in a huddle, planning what to do.
PML-N offensive against ISI, establishment
PML-N’s President Nawaz Sharif on Saturday held a meeting of the party’s senior leaders in Model Town Lahore where he also presided over a meeting of party workers from Faisalabad division.
According to senior party member privy to the discussions at the meeting, Sharif has given a go-ahead to party leaders to ‘expose the games of military establishment’ and particularly to criticise the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The PML-N’s think tank last month had decided that this offensive would be launched if the establishment did not cease and desist from interfering in the country’s political dynamics – and that those ISI officials allegedly involved in this practice would be ‘exposed’.And so it began on Saturday.