PML-N gives govt ultimatum to accept its demands
* PML-N chief says PM should accept demands within 72 hours if he wants to steer govt out of present challenges
* Opposition parties will be invited to materialise agenda
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday gave the government a three-day ultimatum (starting after the three-day mourning for the martyrdom of the Punjab governor) to accept a twelve point ‘charter of demand’ if it wanted to avert its possible collapse after the loss of its ruling majority in parliament.
The deadline given by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif could determine the government’s fate, since his party has the second-largest number of seats in parliament and would be key in pushing through a no-confidence vote and possible early elections.
Addressing a press conference after chairing the PML-N’s Central Organising Committee’s meeting, Nawaz said the government must reverse the price hike, cut government expenditures by 30 percent and implement a series of court verdicts against ruling party officials for corruption.
The PML-N chief said he was putting forward a shorter form of the PML-N’s agenda to the government for implementation within 45 days keeping in view the government’s weakness. “If the government after accepting our agenda fails to implement it by February 20, the PML-N will oust the PPP from the Punjab government,” he said.
He said the prime minister must accept the demands within 72 hours and show progress within 45 days, adding that if the government failed to translate the PML-N’s proposed agenda into reality by February 20, the PML-N would take other opposition parties on board on the same agenda.
“If other opposition parties do not agree or commit with us on our agenda, a stronger government would be needed through fresh mandate to implement it,” he said.
“We have decided to give a three-day ultimatum to the PM to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to our proposed interim agenda. If the prime minister accepts our demands, the government will have to implement it within 45 days and the PML-N would support him in its execution,” he said, clearly suggesting that the PML-N was not in a mood to move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister, who had already lost majority.
Sharing points of the charter, specially crafted for the government for implementation within 45 days, Nawaz said he had asked the government to reverse the increase in POL prices forthwith and formulate a people-friendly gas, electricity and petrol pricing mechanism. “The government should end gas/electricity load shedding and sack all corrupt ministers and other government officials,” he said.
Nawaz demanded the government immediately curb inflation. “The government needs to implement the SC verdict on the NRO in letter and spirit. Besides completing the ECP’s composition, the government must reduce the cabinet size,” he said, adding that the government should bring all culprits of the Hajj, NICL, Steel Mills and the Bank of Punjab scams to book.
The PML-N chief demanded the government establish an independent accountability commission and recover all politically written off loans. “The government will have to cut government expenses by 30 percent and also safeguard the country’s integrity and sovereignty,” he said.
“If the PM expresses his inability to implement the demands, a select committee of the party will engage opposition parties into negotiations over the agenda,” he said.
Source: Daily Times