Mass-contact manoeuvre: PML-N desperate to clear Panama fog

Source: Published in Current Affairs on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

LAHORE: Besides handling the Panama Papers issue through its legal brains, the ruling PML-N has also decided to mobilise its party cadre for politically fighting it with opponents.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz are all holding various meetings, jointly and separately, with district level leadership of the party as well as parliamentarians asking them to present a “true” picture of the issue to the masses.

In other words, the party cadre is being asked to take the government version of the Panama leaks down to the grassroots level so that the masses cannot be “misled” by the political opponents, says a PML-N official. The district leaders have also been asked to make preparations for holding large public meetings without any prior notice, he says.

According to him, the public meetings will be mostly held in provinces other than Punjab to avert the likely negative image to be created by the “propaganda” that the state machinery and resources are being used for the purposes. He says the public meetings in Punjab will be held only if the political fight touches its last bounds.

Meanwhile, the PML-N must be heaving a sigh of relief after JI’s Sirajul Haq has said the campaign against corruption is not against democracy and the Tehrik-i-Istiqlal, which so far had been a staunch critic of the Sharifs, has opposed the call of the opposition for resignation of prime minister when Nawaz has met their demand for writing to the chief justice of Pakistan to set up a commission.

Rehmat Khan Wardag says the opposition is unjustifiably making an issue of the terms of reference. He requests all the political rivals not to go to such an extent that may endanger the very democratic system as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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