That PML(N)President Mian Shehbaz Sharif had to boycott two divisional-level party meetings to get party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif to consent to the issuing of a show-cause notice to MNA Javed Latif for violating party discipline shows not just how much control Mian Nawaz has over the party that still bears his name, but also that the infighting within the party is now boiling up into the open, and will.make the party disintegrate unless it is contained. At one end is the confrontational approach of Mian Nawaz and his daughter Maryam, which was marked by naming names and claiming that Prime Minister Imran Khan was selected, and the conciliatory approach of Mian Shehbaz, which seeks to win back the favour of those institutions which are supposed to back Mr Khan.
Javed Latif showed why the infighting is so bad for the party as ultimately to destroy it. He attacked Mian Shehbaz indirectly, claiming that some leaders were onm ‘on an assignment’ to divide the party. Without a via media, which may well mean one side accepting the views of the other, the party will remain unable to speak with one voice. The government and other opposition parties will be unable to deal with it as an interlocutor, not knowing how it will react to anything, and hence any agreement with it could be valueless.
While the ultimate fate of Javed Latif may be of more interest to other MNAs than anyone else, the threat of unseating does not apply to defeated party candidates the PML(N) needs at the next poll. The divergence of views must be resolved soon, because if the infighting continues, the party will find it is in no shape to contest the next general election. As there are less than two years in the holding of that election, every action by politicians is being carried out with one eye on that election. The Sharif brothers may find that if they postpone a decision on what line to take too long, they may not have a party that much longer.