LAHORE: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif warned on Monday that the ‘container-bound people’ would soon have to pay for whatever they were currently doing, sources informed Geo News. The former prime minister told the PML-N’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting said the current situation was not something new to the party as the leaders and workers had a glorious history of sacrifices.
"We won't be silenced. Our momentum building could not be stopped," he said. "The fools are shooting themselves on their foot." Nawaz also expressed his reservations over the rising inflation and the government's policies about the China Pakistan Economic Corporation (CPEC). "We have strong reservations on the revised CPEC contracts. The federal government is playing an adverse role with regards to the Pakistan-China relations," he said. The government had made life difficult for the poor, he added.
Meanwhile, the PML-N, demanding immediate release of party head Shahbaz Sharif, announced demonstrations outside the federal and Punjab legislatures, if the government failed to convene sessions of both assemblies with immediate effect and threatened to take these protests to the streets if the demands were not met. The decision was reached during an emergency CEC meeting held at the PML-N’s Model Town Secretariat. Although, it was told earlier that party supremo Nawaz Sharif, would preside over the meeting, there was no formal recognition of anyone chairing the gathering.
The meeting condemned the arrest of the party president and described it as an act of political victimisation and use of state institution (NAB) to level political scores and influence the upcoming by-elections.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Hamza Shahbaz, Chaudhry Sher Ali, Maryam Aurangzeb, Amir Muqam, Mushahidullah Khan, Rana Sanaullah, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, Barjees Tahir, Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khurram Dastgir representing Ghulam Dastgir Khan, Rana Tanveer and Raja Farooq Haider attended the meeting. The other members of the committee couldn’t make it due to the short notice.
Malik Pervaiz, Nuzhat Sadiq, Asad Khan Junejo, Mushahid Hussain, Javed Latif and Musadik Malik, who are not the CEC members, were there on special invitation. It was decided in the meeting that if the government would not call the National and Punjab assemblies’ sessions by Tuesday (today), the PML-N would hold protest sessions of the assembly outside the assembly.
Furthermore, if the government would not pay heed to the demands of the opposition alliance, the protests would spread to every street of every province of the country. Special committees and teams were also finalised to organise and implement the strategy.
The CEC meeting passed five resolutions. The first resolution demanded immediate release of Shahbaz, citing his arrest against rules as it was done without filing a proper NAB reference and without intimating the National Assembly speaker.
The resolution also explained the nitty-gritty of the Ashiana case and how Shahbaz was wrongfully implicated. It demanded that Shahbaz should be allowed to speak on the floor of the House to which he had been elected by the people as their representative and the strong opposition had chosen him as their opposition leader.
The second resolution paid tributes to the late Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and prayed for the departed and her survivors. The third resolution demanded immediate withdrawal of the increase in prices by the government and maintained that crushing the public under one boulder of price increase after the other would not be allowed.
The fourth resolution expressed fear and alarm over the government’s decision to review the settled CPEC agreement and identified it as a major mishandling of the PTI government that could cause problem for the both countries and the region if these statements were not withdrawn and sobriety and acumen not practiced.
The fifth resolution condemned the threatening and indecent language and tone of Prime Minister Imran Khan and read that the country’s top office deserved better conduct and the prime minister should ensure that he composed himself accordingly.
Talking to the media, Rana Sana said the PML-N identified the arrest of its president an act of prejudice, vengeance, attempted insult and attack on democracy. He said not a single penny was spent nor an inch of land given in the project under which Shahbaz had been arrested. The case, he clarified, was based on a normative assumption that Shahbaz abused power by directing the cancellation of the contract, whereas the record showed that the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) cancelled the contract.
Rana Sana said the government policies against the country’s longstanding friendship with China and the CPEC would not be tolerated. He added that the CEC had also decided to take other opposition parties on board in the wake of ‘political victimisation’ by the government. He said Nawaz was the Quaid of PML-N and every leader, supporter and worker of the party had been working for democracy under his guidance, for which no amendment to any constitution was needed. He said Hamza and Abbasi would stage a protest in the wake of PTI’s attack on the current local government system.
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