Islamabad, May 12 : Even as the second deadline of restoration of judges issue expires today, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif appears to be in a tight spot. He seems to be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, as he can neither continue his party's support to the PPP-led coalition, nor pull the rug, said a commentary in The News.
Continuing his party's support to the PPP-led government means negation of his party's political plank before the February 18 polls of ensuring the restoration of judiciary to the pre-Nov 3 form, and pulling the rug from under the PPP's feet would mean giving President Pervez Musharraf a chance to reassert himself in the face of weakening political forces, said the paper.
A pragmatic and tactful Nawaz would not end his political romance with the PPP at the Centre to put his party's government in the Punjab at risk, the paper quoted sources as saying.
They said that Nawaz's obsession with Musharraf is a big hurdle in taking a firm decision to end his political romance with the PPP, though Zardari has let it known that he would not follow the PML-N on the issue of the judges' restoration.
Political observers feel the PML-N leaders are not likely to be blamed at this stage for "stabbing" the new political government in the back. The maximum he would do is to withdraw his ministers from the federal cabinet, but would continue to extend political support to the PPP government. That this would be another kind of political deception is another story altogether, they added.
According to these sources, Nawaz was fully aware of the fact that the PML-Q and the MQM would seize the opportunity to join hands with the PPP to force the PML-N to sit in the Opposition. He would not let the pro-Musharraf parties gain political advantage at this point of time when Musharraf has been marginalised. He knows that Zardari would not like to sit with the PML-Q whom he himself had declared the "Qatil League".
It is believed that Nawaz Sharif is currently not in a position to take big political risks like ditching the PPP government or allowing the PML-Q and the MQM to become part of a new coalition government at the Centre. Doing so would help his bitter foe Musharraf to resurrect himself, a prospect he dreads to entertain.