PMLN also shows concern over new delimitations

December 08, 2023

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) has expressed concerns over the new delimitation of constituencies and announced approaching the high court to get them corrected.

PMLN leader and former federal minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, while talking to the media here on Thursday, claimed that the constituencies were not correct.

PMLN leader and former federal minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, while talking to the party members in Lahore on December 6, 2023. — Facebook/Khwaja Saad Rafique

He said his constituency was divided into five parts on which he approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) but was not heard. “I am approaching the high court on my constituency,” he announced.

The senior PMLN leader also advised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) not to boycott the elections, saying that they had also fought election without Nawaz Sharif. He said stability will come in Pakistan only after the general elections.

To a question that traditional election environment was not being seen anywhere in the country, Saad Rafique said the environment will be created when the election schedule would be announced.

To another question, he said so far there have been no talks with the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party on an election alliance as well as seat adjustment. Saad also said that there was no reason to delay the elections.

The PMLN leader said PTI’s former chairman Imran Khan was pharaoh of his time, as he was not ready to talk to anyone and called everyone a thief. He, however, said no political party should be left out of the election.

Saad Rafique said the PMLN got only 20 seats during the martial law of 2002. He said if a party was in trouble, then its leader had to be very cautious. But the PTI ex-chairman made mistakes and the decision to leave the assemblies was his own.

He said the PTI had spent crores of rupees on social media, but there was a difference between voters of the streets and social media. He said no party other than the PMLN had adopted such a systematic approach to select candidates and was preparing for the upcoming elections.

“We are listening to all candidates and conducting surveys and we will try to field the best candidates,” he said, adding, the demand for a level-playing field was a strange taunt. He added elections should be held on February 8, as the Senate elections were also scheduled to take place in March 2024.

“In my personal opinion, student organisations or unions should be restored but with some conditions. No non-student should be a part of any student union. With the closure of student union, the political nursery has ended,” he said. He further said the PMLN’s manifesto included strengthening of local governments.

Meanwhile, PMLN Punjab President Rana Sanaullah said Bilawal Bhutto was looking to create an election slogan based on the 18th Amendment.

He was talking to the media after several politicians from Jhang joined the PMLN. Provincial General Secretary Owais Leghari and other senior PMLN leaders were also present.

He said the PMLN has an average of 6 to 8 candidates available in each constituency. “We respect everyone but only one candidate can contest from each constituency.”

The Jhang district was vacant from our point of view in 2018, he said, adding that today we have completed this district.

Those who joined the PMLN included Maulana Asif Muawiya, Babar Sial from NA 110, Neelam Sial from PP 125, Mehr Aslam Bharwana, Sheikh Mohammad Younis, Khalid Mahmood Sargana, Khalid Ghani from PP 128, Amir Abbas from PP 130, Faisal Hayat Jabwana from PP 131, Sheikh Yaqoob, Rais Mohammad Ibrahim from PP 267 District Rahim Yar Khan and Dost Muhammad Mazari. On this occasion, former Speaker Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari announced full confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

Criticizing Imran Khan, Rana Sanaullah said PTI’s ex-chairman promoted the culture of “oy-toy” in the country’s politics. He said PTI’s vote bank on social media was a total fraud.

“Nawaz Sharif promised that we will bring the country out of economic crisis. No one has even made such a promise,” he stated.

Sanaullah said that democracy is the name of freedom of expression and moving forward in a free atmosphere. He said they were absolutely ready for the February 8 election, adding that Gohar Khan should take his party to the election and let criminals of May 9 face the law. “The PTI should not protect the characters of May 9,” he said.

“Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is trying to create a political slogan based on 18th Amendment. They want to mislead the smaller provinces that if PMLN will come to power, it will reduce the powers of provinces,” Rana Sanaullah said, adding, the PMLN has no such intention and the party believed that the powers of the provinces cannot be reduced.

In the manifesto of PMLN, it will be included that the federal units should be made as strong as possible, he said.

To a question, he said Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Sindh had not been scheduled but he will go there soon. He also denied that a meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari had been fixed.

He said that Maulana Fazlur Rahman or his party never expressed their intention to get the slot of the President of Pakistan. If they show such intention, then the party leadership will decide about it.