PML (N) will never remain the same after the Supreme Court of the verdict against Nawaz Sharif. The Nawaz Sharif rally is an effort to gather and show political muscle to the opponents. However, it is not the same Rawalpindi and Islamabad that would support PML (N) in the past in large numbers.
Is PML (N) Not Happy About the Lack of Support?
Yes, PML (N) seems to be unhappy about the lack of support. The party wants to have a bigger crowd at the Nawaz Sharif rally. But the estimates range anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 people and the vehicles between 800 to 2000.
The signs of worry became evident with the recent meeting held in Punjab House of Rawalpindi. However, the plans of the meeting did not come to fruition as per the expectations of the Former Prime Minister. Some media reports suggest that the Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not happy with the small turnout at the political gathering.
The Former Prime Minister does not accept the verdict of the Supreme Court. He thinks of it as an insult to a Former Prime Minister who has done so much for his country. Furthermore, he says that this decision ridicules the mandate of 200 million voters.
Reasons Nawaz Sharif Rally Could Not Gather Support
Political parties come and go. But some individuals create legacies for future generations. PML (N) is one such party remaining at the forefront of the country politics. It has governed the province several times and got its Prime Minister elected thrice.
However, things are not the same for the party. The Nawaz Sharif rally is not able to gather the kind of support it was expecting from Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Let us look at the reasons for Nawaz Sharif rally not being able to garner the support it wished.
Chaudhry Nisar Not Happy with PML (N) on Many Things
Chaudhry Nisar has an extensive public support and a significant constituency in Rawalpindi. He is one of the most potent politicians in the area. He has held many important posts during his association with PML (N). However, he seems to be reluctantly supporting the party. Chaudhry Nisar was about to make a press conference to reveal what he thought about the party. However, the unfortunate blast in Lahore led him to cancel his press conference.
A lot of Chaudhry Nisar supporters in Pindi and Islamabad are also startled and confused if they need to support Nawaz Sharif rally or not. A disheartened Chaudhry Nisar is one reason why PML (N) is not able to get the kind of support it wanted. The people of Rawalpindi like in other parts of the country feel that Chaudhry Nisar did not get his due place in the party.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Has Big Support in Rawalpindi and Islamabad
On the other hand, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed is one of the most successful politicians of his time. He has won a majority of the elections he contested with and sometimes without party support. Sheikh Rashid also got nominated by PTI for the interim post of the Pakistan’s Prime Minister.
He has a massive fan following in Rawalpindi. He is also the founder of his party the Awami Muslim League. Sheikh Rashid is a kingpin when it comes to mobilizing street movements behind politicians. A lack of support from Sheikh Rashid is one other reason for the lack of support for Nawaz Sharif rally.
Similarly, the people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad who support Sheikh Rashid did not like the attack on him. He got attacked first in parliament and then at his residence known as Lala Haveli. The PML (N) advisers may have taken this lightly. But a lot of people in Rawalpindi and Islamabad do remember the way the party treated a local politician.
Family Feud, Party Divide, and Tehmina Durrani’s Tweets
The Supreme Court decision and the subsequent chain of events set in motion have put Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz in an awkward position. There is a clear divide between the party members. Some of the party members believe that they should not go for the long march. However, there are others who want to confront the establishment and win a public support against this decision. This divide is another reason a lot of politicians within PML (N) are weighing their options to either remain with the party or leave to another political camp.
Similarly, the tweets by Tehmina Durrani on keeping Shehbaz Sharif out of the Nawaz Sharif rally speak volumes about the rift between the two brothers and their families. On one end Shehbaz Sharif has to protect the security of his province of Punjab. On the other hand, he has to support his brother’s struggling political campaign. Tehmina Durrani, not happy by this situation says that putting CM into this situation for saving the day is ruthless. She says that she would have asked the Former Prime Minister to address the nation instead of going to a rally. However, she did try to cool things down at the end by saying there was “no rift” in the family.