PML-N gives federal govt ultimatum

PML-N has given the already besieged PPP-led federal government an ultimatum following a key meeting of the party’s central leadership in Islamabad on Tuesday. Announcing a nine-point plan placed before the incumbents, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, in a press conference following the meeting, said that the federal government had 72-hours to reply, “yes or no”.  This deadline was later extended by three days in the wake of the murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer.

However, the PML-N did not speak of bringing a no-confidence motion against the federal government – nor did the other main party in the National Assembly the PML-Q. Spearheaded by PM Yousaf Raza Gilani himself, the PPP has for the last couple of days been in intense discussions with the PML-N and PML-Q following the exit of two key coalition allies in the National Assembly – the MQM and JUI-F –  which caused the federal government to lose its majority in the house.

Despite the pressure by the PML-N, both it and the PML-Q on Tuesday indicated that they were in no mood to oust the government – at least not instantly.The PML-N’s main demands include taking back of the decision regarding an increase in oil rates, removing corrupt ministers and officials, curtailing unnecessary expenditures, appointment of independent members on vacant seats of the election commission and bringing a new accountability law.

“We are giving a three-day deadline to the government to respond on our nine-point agenda. If it agrees to these points it would have to implement this agenda in the next 45 days otherwise it will not remain in the Punjab government,” former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said after presiding a meeting of the central organising committee of the PML-N.

However after the murder of Salman Taseer, spokesperson of the PML-N, Ahsan Iqbal, said the deadline had been extended by three days.

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