In the wake of the rejection of his review plea, Sharif summoned to London the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, NA Speaker, Ishaq Dar, and a number of other confidants for consultations on several problems.
The former PM cannot continue to dodge the proceedings of the accountability court while the possibility of his being arrested on return to Pakistan cannot be ruled out. A decision has to be taken urgently to appoint a permanent PML-N chief.
The party has to work out a strategy to come out of the blind alley where it has landed itself. Dissensions within the party, the latest expression being Ch Nisar’s tirade against Khawaja Asif, need to be controlled.
The absence of Shehbaz and Hamza from the NA-120 campaign and their future line of action could be another source of worry.
The results of the NA-120 have importance for the party and its chief. A larger margin of victory this time than in 2013 would be a good tiding. Sharif might decide to land in Pakistan soon after disregarding the risks in case his wife wins the NA-120 contest with a thumping majority.
A lesser margin indicating the slippage of PML-N’s popularity would require more consultations regarding return to Pakistan.
Attempts are afoot to reach out to the PPP which also fears the increasing domination of the judiciary and army.
The hurdle in the talks is the hubris displayed by the PML-N leadership after it was bailed out by the PPP in 2014.
While Ahsan Iqbal complains that the Parliament is being undermined and some institutions are trying to usurp its rights, it is for the PML-N leadership to explain why Sharif and his cabinet members consistently neglected the institution by dodging its meetings.