Just when PML-N needed to rise above its ego, it budged

Just when PML-N needed to rise above its ego, it budged
PTI came under heavy criticism last year for its support to the Thereek-e-Labbayk Pakistan (TLP) protests. Some of its leaders like Abrar ul-Haq were found apologizing for TLP while many, as PM Khan then said, wanted to join the TLP sit-in. The party was bashed by the liberals left, right and centre. Most of the liberal intelligentsia in the country called the PTI out for its overtures to the TLP and pandering to the religious sentiment of the masses at a very critical time in the country’s politics.

However, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) silence throughout the recent TLP sit-in over Asia Bibi’s acquittal from the Supreme Court was equally criminal as far as the consequences are concerned. They may not have openly issued statements in TLP’s favor but they also didn’t issue any statement in Supreme Court’s favor either.

At a time when PML-N should have risen above its ego, and sided with the Supreme Court over an issue of human rights, there was not even a single statement of approval, let alone applause, from its side. In fact they were quick to criticize Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s strong stance in his address to the nation. Khan cleared it on the TLP supporters as well as its leadership that the government would take a strong action against the miscreants. This threat of state violence surely would have helped the government reach an agreement with the TLP. But instead of siding with the government, PML-N kept criticizing the speech for its strong tone.

In fact Maryam Nawaz even went on to like a tweet from none other than Khadim Rizvi. She only un-liked it after some good bashing on Twitter but that clearly explains how confused, or at least vengeful, PML-N really is right now.


And it did come under criticism as well, but the liberal sections of the media by and large kept criticizing the government for having actually reached an agreement with the protesters that gave almost nothing away, and that I say in the hope that the government actually didn’t mean it when it said it’d initiate legal procedure to put Asia Bibi on the Exit Control List.


And this is a valid question by @VilakhanChattha


@TaymurYaar also raised a similar question.


My considered opinion on the subject is that PTI might have tried to use the public sentiment to its advantage by giving an impression that it was on TLP’s side, but TLP is no one’s B-team. That much is clear. At least now.

Some think PML-N lost the election because it lost its voter to TLP. I believe it was their criminal silence and lack of conviction to stand with what they had done that actually cost them the 2018 elections, apart of course from the corruption allegations and some bts ‘engineering’.

The dilemma with the PML-N is that it doesn’t know which side it wants to be on. And as long as it keeps playing both sides of the wicket, as it did during this sit-in, the confusion will keep costing it its vote-bank.
Web Editor

The author is an SM politician, SM blogger, SM liberal, SM everything. He writes for a living and has a habit of poking his nose into everything political. History, IR, Journalism and Sports are other interests. Ali Warsi is Web Editor on Naya Daur Media.