London: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif wants early general elections and has discussed with the senior party leadership the option of quitting the government in the Centre, media reports said.
Nawaz Sharif has discussed this several times with top leaders of the party including Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and also with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), The News reported.
He suggested that staying in the government any longer looked set to create more problems than resolving the issues in the absence of genuine support the government should have received from all state organs, said sources.
They said PDM leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, have so far resisted the idea of quitting the government but the Supreme Court’s decision to make Pervaiz Elahi Punjab’s Chief Minister is highly likely to reinforce the idea, The News reported.
The sources shared that Nawaz Sharif has told his party leaders that obstacles had been created for Shehbaz Sharif’s government from the very start, after Imran Khan’s ouster in a vote of no-confidence, and staying in the government in the absence of powers could damage the party further, The News reported.
These discussions have lingered on for several weeks but more so after the disappointing results for the PML-N in Punjab’s by-elections and the decision by a three-member Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice Atta Bandial and Justices Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Muneeb Akhtar, to remove Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab’s chief minister.
It had thrown up a completely new scenario for the PML-N where it has power in the Centre but in Punjab, the battleground province, will be now ruled by Pervaiz Elahi with help from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).