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Web Desk
May 25, 2021

Maryam dismisses speculations, says Shahbaz's dinner had nothing to with PDM

Web Desk
Tue, May 25, 2021
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz speaking to journalists in Islamabad, on May 25, 2021. — YouTube 

PML-N Present Shahbaz Sharif's dinner, which was held on Monday with several Opposition leaders in attendance, had nothing to do with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said Tuesday.

"He hosted the dinner as the leader of Opposition, as they had to devise a strategy for the budget session," Maryam said, while speaking to journalists in Islamabad.

She said PDM had decided to hold a meeting after Ramadan and it will take place within two days to decide the alliance's future course of action.

Responding to a question, Maryam said she had not attended the dinner as she wasn't a parliamentarian and asked the journalist to "stop making an issue out of everything".

"Shahbaz Sharif has the role of Opposition leader. He hosted the dinner for parliamentarians ... my presence was not needed," she said.

The PML-N vice-president said there was no need to mull over numbers for a vote of no confidence against Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in the Punjab Assembly, as the Opposition had the "upper hand".

Maryam said PDM had not received any response from PPP regarding the party's return to the alliance, however, when PPP addresses PDM's concerns, the anti-government alliance will deliberate over the matter.

"I support (former prime minister) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's decision to resign from the post of PDM general-secretary if PPP rejoins the alliance," she said, claiming Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N have the same position on the matter.

Responding to another question, she claimed the government had "lied" about the gross domestic product (GDP) growth, which even the ruling paty's own representatives are not ready to accept. The PML-N leader said people from all walks of life have been affected by inflation.

Shahbaz's dinner 

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, a day earlier, had hosted a dinner reception and asked all the Opposition parties to join hands and move forward with the anti-government movement, sources said.

Leader of the Opposition in Senate Yousuf Raza Gilani, PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sherry Rehman, ANP leader Amir Haider Khan Hoti, and other party leaders were present.

The overall political situation of the country was also discussed at the dinner, sources said.

Meanwhile, PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal, speaking during Geo News' programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath", said Shahbaz was attempting to "unite the Opposition."

The government has "manipulated" the economic numbers, Iqbal said, adding the rising inflation had made it difficult for a poor man to make a living.

Shahbaz's reconciliation policy is for the Opposition, the PML-N leader said. "There can be no reconciliation with the government."

The PML-N secretary-general said PDM will hold a meeting tomorrow and will decide in what capacity can PPP render its services to the Opposition alliance.

"We are happy that all the representatives of Opposition parties attended the dinner today," Iqbal said, adding he would have been happier had PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto had attended the dinner too.