–Shehbaz, Ahsan Iqbal and Raja Zafarul Haq reportedly oppose participation in JUI-F’s protest
–Party supremo Nawaz Sharif to make final decision over party’s participation
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is reportedly divided over participation in the anti-government march spearheaded by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F).
According to reports, the fissures within the central leadership of the party emerged during a meeting of the PML-N Central Executive Committee (CEC) that was held under the leadership of party president Shehbaz Sharif.
Shehbaz, Ahsan Iqbal and Raja Zafarul Haq reportedly opposed participating in the march, said reports.
While, on the other hand, the leaders that are considered close to supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, such as Javed Latif, Pervez Rasheed and Ameer Muqam have endorsed joining the sit-in.
However, the party will approach Nawaz for the last word on the decision.
Earlier in the day, the JUI-F chief changed the date of its Azadi March from Oct 27 to 31st in order to join Kashmiri people in observing 27th as a black day across the country in protest against the Indian occupation of Kashmir.
Earlier on Oct 3, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had denied news reports regarding the non-participation of Shehbaz Sharif in the ‘Azadi March’.
She said that during a meeting with Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat jail, Shehbaz informed him about the consultation done by the party with the Pakistan People’s Party and JUI-F regarding the anti-government protest.
“The final announcement regarding the PML-N’s participation in the JUI-F-led march will be made by Shehbaz Sharif,” she had then said.
Earlier, a private news channel had reported that Shehbaz Sharif had refused to participate in the ‘Azadi March’ citing health concerns.
According to the channel’s report, Shehbaz informed Nawaz about the decision of the party’s CEC to not take part in the JUI-F’s protest movement.
According to the report, the former prime minister instructed his younger brother to call an all-parties conference to finalise arrangements for the ‘Azadi March’ along with bringing the PPP chairman on board and consulting with Fazlur Rehman over the date of the proposed march.
Nawaz also urged Shehbaz to take a leading role in the Azadi March to which the former reportedly refused, citing his ailing health condition, and recommended names of national party leaders such as former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal for the task.