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ISLAMABAD: The erstwhile Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders held responsible for alienating the ANP and PPP leadership for sending show cause notice on the election of Yousaf Raza Gilani as the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate are unlikely to attend the Swat rally.

Informed sources told Business Recorder that after a hiatus of several months, PDM's Swat rally, scheduled for today (Sunday), will not be attended by PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz with the participation of PDM Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also in doubt.

Speaking to Business Recorder, chief organiser of Swat rally and senior PML-N leader Ameer Muqam confirmed that Maryam Nawaz would not participate in the PDM public gathering. "The PML-N would be led by none other than Shehbaz Sharif," he said without giving any further details on the matter.

When pressed on why Maryam Nawaz was not participating in the Swat rally, Ameer Muqam said, "Shehbaz Sharif is the party President and he would be there in Swat rally. Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other senior party leaders would also be part of Swat rally. It's wrong to say that senior leadership would not be part of Swat rally," he said and promptly dropped the call.

However, those close to Maryam Nawaz, told Business Recorder on condition of strict anonymity that she is extremely displeased with Shehbaz's 'soft' approach towards security establishment. "Maryam Nawaz group feels that by striking a conciliatory tone, Shehbaz is trying to be in the good books of the powers-that-be. That is something strongly resented by Maryam and her supporters," sources said.

"Maryam is also unhappy over Shehbaz's absence from the budget session when federal budget 2021-22 was passed by the National Assembly. Instead of giving tough time to government on budget, Shehbaz simply vanished from the scene. This has widened the gulf between uncle and niece," said a PML-N senator, wishing not to be named. Talking to Business Recorder, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa President Atta-ur-Rehman, younger brother of Fazl, said the JUI-F chief, who was recently discharged from hospital, would participate in the rally if his health allows.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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