Miftah Ismail of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has been speaking his mind in a blunt way ever since he was replaced with Ishaq Dar as finance minister of the country.
Similarly, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former prime minister, who belongs to the same party, has been expressing his differences over party policies quite often since the circumstances forced him to pave way for Maryam Nawaz as senior vice president of the party, a party that seems to have lost its direction in the absence of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, who has been living in London under self-imposed exile.
Prospects of his return are still not very bright although his party is in power as the largest component of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government at the centre.
Insofar as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the second largest component of PDM coalition government is concerned, it is facing no internal bickering per se ahead of the next general election mainly because of the fact that party leader Asif Ali Zardari is still calling the shots and guarding its party’s interests, in Sindh in particular, quite successfully.
However, things are quite different for the Sharifs mainly because of Imran Khan and his ever-growing popularity in Punjab. It’s unlikely that PML-N will be regaining the lost ground in the presence of Imran Khan who seems to have emerged as a credible alternate from Punjab for the electorate and establishment alike.
Muddasir Dhillon (Lahore)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023