The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) appears to be gearing up for the 2018 elections, launching a countrywide public mobilisation campaign at the district level.
Party sources said here yesterday that the decision was taken a day earlier at the maiden meeting of party’s newly-constituted Central Executive Committee (CEC), chaired by party chief and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In the new CEC, notified last week, members from both the prevalent camps in the party – respectively linked with Sharif and his brother Shahbaz, are included.
However, analysts believe that composition of the new CEC has further consolidated the Nawaz Sharif’s position as more members from his camp are included in the committee.
Among the new members of the CEC are Maryam (Sharif’s daughter), Hamza (Shahbaz;s son), Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, and former information minister Pervaiz Rashid.
A participant at the meeting said Sharif has given the task of contacting disgruntled party members and addressing their grievances to his daughter Maryam.
The PML-N head has also tasked some ministers to contact other political parties for what he called “greater interest of democracy”.
The PML-N and opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of Bilawal Bhutto have been in touch at the level of second-tier leadership.
However, the PPP’s de-facto supremo Asif Zardari has publicly declined to meet Sharif.
By adopting an anti-Sharif public posture, the PPP is trying to regain the ground it lost to its rivals, especially in Punjab, the stronghold of the PML-N.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Monday asked Sharif to retire from politics since he has been disqualified by the highest court of the country.
“The meeting discussed in detail the 2018 elections. We have decided to launch campaign at district level,” Senator Mushahidullah Khan said after the PML-N CEC meeting.
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