ISLAMABAD: With the political temperature in the country going up considerably, the main opposition party in the National Assembly, the PML-N, is keeping its options open, including helping form a new government if the PPP-led government falls.
Earlier, the PML-N leadership had kept itself away from any talk of change, instead offering tacit support to the ruling coalition. However, over the last few weeks it seems to have changed its stance.
“Yes, if the situation arises in which other political forces support the PML-N for a meaningful change within parliament through which we can really transform the country, the party is ready to lead the government,” PML-N spokesperson Ahsan Iqbal told Dawn.
He said that if the new alignment of political forces was for a common agenda — rule of law, good governance, independence of judiciary, and eradication of corruption — there was no harm in becoming part of the government.
“If a particular government is failing it does not mean democracy has failed in the country, and neither can we equate the two,” Mr Iqbal argued.
The party had made its stand clear on more than one occasion that it would not support any extra-constitutional change in the country and would only favour change within parliament, Mr Iqbal said.
Secondly, he said, in case of a face-off between the executive and the judiciary, the PML-N would support the latter, as it had been doing in the past.
However, the PML-N spokesperson said the best solution to the ongoing crisis was corrective measures by the ruling coalition that included implementation of the Supreme Court decisions and getting rid of NRO beneficiaries from its ranks as soon as possible.
The PML-N which is in coalition with the PPP in Punjab from the very first day has been asking them to accept the rule of law, Mr Iqbal said.
In the background of ongoing developments, the PML-Q, the third largest party in the National Assembly, is also weighing up its options.
During a meeting of its parliamentarians, held last week in the room of Senator Wasim Sajjad in the parliament house, they deliberated upon suggestions of merger with the PML-N. The meeting was chaired by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.
According to one of the MNAs attending the meeting, a majority of the participants wanted written surety about their political roles in case they formed a coalition with the PML-N.
“Following the merger of PML-Q and Pir Pagara’s Functional League, our leadership seems quite hopeful of getting into the fold of PML-N,” the MNA who requested not to be named said.
In response to a question, the lawmaker accepted that the political landscape of the country was going to see some changes in the coming days.