No permanent enemies in politics | Pakistan Today

No permanent enemies in politics

Apparent political isolation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has pushed the Sharifs to mark their ‘black day’ on the 12th anniversary of the October 12, 1999 military coup along with long-time associates of former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf such as Kashmala Tariq and Salim Saifullah, once comrades of the very man who ousted Nawaz Sharif’s government and banished him from the country for 10 years.
The PML-N leadership’s change of heart towards the Muslim Leaguers who joined ranks with the Musharraf after the military takeover at the one hand negates the PML-N’s old claims that its doors are permanently shut to the dictator’s associates, and on the other exposes the deepening sense of isolation among the PML-N top brass which compelled the Sharifs to rub shoulders with those who embraced their arch-enemy.
The PML-N leaders first opened their arms to a group of PML-Quaid dissident MPAs to save the fledgling Punjab government, then welcomed a number of disgruntled PML-Q senators including Tariq Azim, Javed Ali Shah and Naeem Hussain Chattha in June this year just to secure the slot of opposition leader in the Senate, forgetting the fact that the same Senator Azim – as the minister of state for information and broadcasting – had been defending his former boss Pervez Musharraf at every available forum for years.
On Wednesday, when PML-N President Nawaz Sharif was condemning Musharraf’s eight-year rule, he forgot or deliberately avoided condemning former aides and cronies of Musharraf, as PML-Likeminded President Salim Saifullah and Information Secretary Kashmala Tariq were standing beside him. Commenting on the meeting between PML-Q dissidents and Nawaz Sharif, a PML-Q leader said the PML-N’s isolation had at last compelled its leadership to embrace Musharraf’s former associates. “Where now are the slogans of the Sharifs not accepting Musharraf’s men?” he asked.
Kashmala Tariq’s level of affiliation with the Sharifs’ ‘enemy number one’ (Musharraf) can be judged from the fact that she was part of his public relations team that visited various cities in the United States in 2007 to defend Musharraf’s act of declaring emergency in Pakistan on November 3, 2007. Dr Nasim Ashraf and Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif were the other two members of the team. A day ago, the PML-N chief also had an exclusive meeting with Sumera Malik, who was part of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz’s cabinet and for years defended Musharraf’s military acts and authority. A source in the PML-Q said the PML-N leaders were also wooing other MNAs and senators of the PML-Q. “Harsh political realities have at last compelled the Sharifs to descend from their ivory towers,” he said.



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