LAHORE: Pakistan’s top two political parties, the ruling PPP of President Asif Zardari and the PML-N of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif claim to have been placed safe, politically, in the wake of published reports by WikiLeaks, about their handling of various crisis situations of which they were an active part since 2008.
If on one hand the PML-N quarters were beating the drum of not bowing down to US pressure on their election slogan of getting the deposed judges of the superior judiciary restored, the PPP circles on the other hand were claiming to have come up to the expectation of the people by not letting what they called the ‘establishment’ run over its elected government in one crisis situation after another.
A close aide of the PML-N top leadership said on Tuesday that although the reports pertaining the Saudi’s treatment to the Sharif family, particularly Nawaz Sharif, caused initial embarrassment to the party keeping in view the leadership’s claim of having brotherly ties with the royal Saudi family, however, the reports that Nawaz remained steadfast in front of the US during the March 2008 crisis, had compensated for the damage.
The source said the PML-N leadership was not worried about further reports from WikiLeaks, as there was a general feel in the party ranks and files that the leadership had emerged victorious as far as its match with the rest of the leadership in the country was concerned.
The sources said the PML-N leadership had advised Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani to grant an extension to General Ashfaq Kayani, keeping in view their own experiences. The sources said the PML-N leadership was quite satisfied with the explanation given by the Inter-Services Public Relations director general that the Kayani views the entire leadership of the country, including Nawaz Sharif, with respect.
The PPP leadership believes that WikiLeaks had served its cause, since the party leadership had no means to share with party cadres and the public at large as to how it had acted and was still confronting with challenges, involving the very existence of the state, a host of PPP leaders say.
An important PPP leader from central Punjab said the situation had remained so grim in the three-year party rule that the top leadership could not take into confidence the second cadre of the party.
The reporting of WikiLeaks and an open debate on the electronic media, including the state-owned PTV, had actually served the cause of the PPP by informing the people about the actual state of affairs with which the PPP leadership was confronting and managing the affairs with utmost responsibility, he claimed.
He said it was because of an open debate in the media and perhaps the fears about similar leaks in the future that no opponent of the government made it an issue.
An important federal minister from central Punjab defended the discussion about internal security issues and foreign affairs between a former US ambassador with the top party leaders, saying the incumbent PPP government had done nothing new as there existed no government in the country, including those run by the military rulers, who had not been seeking advice from the US, even for day-to-day state business.
Input from Agencies