At the same time, the Shehbaz Sharif-led PDM government is also not performing and issues like deteriorating economic condition and price rise are increasing the unpopularity of the party. A senior PMLN leader said, “We had thought that our good governance and economic transformation would bring back the popularity of the PMLN, but this is happening mainly due to increasing financial challenges and price rise.” According to a report in The News, party sources believe that the PML-N’s popularity has declined since the removal of the Imran Khan government, while the PTI’s popularity has been on the rise. It is said that the last two days were shocking for the PML-N and its top leadership.
Imran Khan and Parvez Elahi beat
How Imran Khan and Pervez Elahi politically outmaneuvered Nawaz and their party’s calculations came as a bitter surprise to the leaguers. Nawaz and Maryam, who are both in London, were assured that neither Pervaiz Elahi had the majority to win a trust vote nor had any chance of dissolving the provincial assembly. To his utter dismay, Imran Khan was successful on both counts. While the PML-N top leadership in London was not over the blow of the successful vote of confidence by Parvez Elahi, it suffered another setback the very next day when the latter’s advice to dissolve the Punjab Assembly was signed.
Maryam Nawaz was already planning to return in mid-February, but after Imran Khan’s moves in Punjab dealt a severe blow to the PML-N, the London leadership is reconsidering its plan. Now apart from Maryam, the timing of the return of Nawaz Sharif is also being considered. According to the report of The News, in the case of the date of elections in Punjab, it is said that both can flee to Pakistan in a hurry. Imran Khan’s politics, backed by the failures of the PDM government in Islamabad, has significantly reduced the political space for the PML-N in Punjab, which has been a bastion of the party for the past few decades.
‘No obstacle to Nawaz Sharif’s return’
The PML-N leader said, “It is a flawed policy to expect the Shehbaz Sharif government and the second-tier leadership of the PML-N to make room for the top London leadership to come and popularize the party like before.” He said that leadership does not wait for the space created by others, rather it wins the hearts and minds of the people with its charisma and political tact. For this it is said that the leadership of London will have to come to Pakistan. According to a report in The News, a PML-N source said that now there is no obstacle in the return of Nawaz Sharif.