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August 10, 2018

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‘Can politics survive without dialogue?’

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) President Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, during a media talk outside the Adiala Jail, on Thursday said no one wanted to give or take the NRO, questioning if the world could survive without dialogue. He said the morale of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam was high.

He said both the father and daughter wanted that the PML-N leaders and workers continue the protest against the alleged rigging in the elections. Nawaz also sent ‘Salam’ to the public from jail, Shahbaz told media persons.

The Adiala Jail authorities barred Pakhtunkhuwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and Senator Usman Kakar from meeting Nawaz.

They had fixed Thursday for meetings with Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar. Rana Sanaullah, Abid Sher Ali, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Ghulam Bilour, Muhammad Zubair, Saud Majeed, Barjees Tahir, Saad Rafique, Amir Muqam, Rana Tanveer, Baleeghur Rehman, Attaul Haq Qasmi, Tariq Fatemi and his wife and Maryam Aurangzeb also reached the Adiala Jail.

Mayors of different cities of Punjab also visited the Adiala Jail to express solidarity with the detained leaders of PML-N. They included Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Nadim Ahmed Khan, Aqeel Anjum Hashmi (Bahawalpur), Navidul Haq (Multan), Asad Ali (Sahiwal), Malik Aslam Navid (Sargodha), Shahid Chandia (D.G. Khan), Haji Nasir (Gujrat), retired Col Mubashir Javed (Lahore), Razaq Malik (Faisalabad) , Chaudhry Toheed Akhter (Sialkot) and Sheikh Ansar (Islamabad).

Security officials were present all around the Adiala Jail on the occasion to control the law and order situation. Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz said that major opposition parties in the country held demonstrations against the alleged rigging in the general elections. He said all the major parties had rejected the outcome of the election. "We want to tell the worldthat our people have rejected the election," he said. He said that the chief election commissioner (CEC) badly failed to hold free and fair elections in the country. “We will also protest in the National Assembly against election rigging,” he said.

Shahbaz termed it the dirtiest election in the history of Pakistan. "The first step was pre-poll rigging, then the polling was slowed down and no extension was given. And when the time for counting arrived, our polling agents were thrown out," he said. He said that their workers and candidates faced FIRs and jail.

He said that some people in aircraft were wandering here and there to sell or buy the winning candidates. “They are openly offering huge money but I am not involved in this game,” he said.

Speaking to the media outside the detention facility, Achakzai criticised the authorities for not allowing him to meet Nawaz. "I have been in Islamabad for two weeks now. Every time I come here, they stop me. What is the matter? He (Nawaz Sharif) is a three-time prime minister," he said. He said the Constitution grants every person the right to visit anyone in prison.

The sources said Shahbaz received directions from his elder brother with regard to the political situation during his meeting in the jail.

Meanwhile, Captain (retd) Safdar was shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) from Adiala Jail after his health deteriorated. Sources said he had ulcer and was vomiting, hence it was decided to shift him to PIMS on the recommendations of his personal doctor Adnan.

He was shifted to a private ward of the hospital amid strong security. Sources further said Capt (retd) Safdar has been shifted to the cardiac ward of PIMS and he had been allotted the same room where Nawaz was treated a few days back.

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