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May 21, 2019

PML-N announces country-wide protest after Eid

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May 21, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Monday announced to launch a country-wide campaign after Eidul Fitr against rampant inflation and unemployment by connecting with people.

Speaking to media persons here, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, alongside other PML-N leaders, said the country's economy would not have come to this point had the incumbent leadership kept their mouths shut.

"Even today, I offer the same advice. If they cannot speak the truth, then they should not lie either," Abbasi was quoted as saying by Geo News.

"We will tell the people on Youm-e-Takbir that (former PM) Nawaz Sharif is a political prisoner," he added.

The former premier noted that in light of the concerning inflation, the minimum wage should be raised to at least Rs20,000 a month. He also demanded rescinding the extraordinary hikes in the prices of petrol and diesel. "Prices (of petroleum products) should be set at a level that is bearable,” he stated.

“There should be no new tax in the forthcoming annual budget or increase in the rates of existing taxes either,” Abbasi added.

The PML-N leader, with regard to the recently-signed deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said there were doubts and worries pertaining to the conditions of the deal and that the government should make the details public.

“An upwards bump of 1.5 percent in the interest rate would create more problems for the people,” Abbasi said.

In response to a question, he said the government was already at new lows, which is why the aim was not to topple the rulers, but to resolve the people's issues.

"Our goal is not to break up the government or popularity; our goal is to solve the public's concerns. The all parties conference, therefore, would decide whether to initiate protests on the roads," the ex-PM explained.

The APC, scheduled post-Eid, was announced Sunday night following a meeting of the opposition parties at an Iftar-dinner hosted by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the federal capital. The political leaders discussed the formulation of a strategy against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

“If the solution to the people's problems was in toppling the government, then a decision in that regard would be made by the APC. If the solution was in elections, then a demand in that regard would be made by the APC,” Abbasi said.

Criticising the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Abbasi said a denial should have been issued in the aftermath of an interview given by the anti-graft body’s Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal, to a newspaper.

“The statements made in the interview are not categorised in the jurisdiction of the NAB chair,” the PML-N leader said, adding: “That interview was not of the NAB but of Justice Sahib and the press conference by the NAB chairman has created more doubts.”

He said the PML-N will hold a press conference in two days on the issue.

“The reality of the anti-corruption watchdog has been laid bare in front of the Pakistani people,” he mentioned, adding that today, “everyone says what the NAB is doing is not accountability but revenge.”

Abbasi further said the PML-N sticks to its slogan of ‘respect the vote’. “Today, Nawaz Sharif is in the jail because of his viewpoint,” he said.

“I do not consider anyone to be corrupt. I only deem anyone to be corrupt if there is evidence against them. If there is evidence against Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, then present it in the court,” he said.

Muhammad Anis adds: Resorting to aggressive tone, the PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Monday said accepting Imran Khan as prime minister was insult to the prestigious office.

“I still feel that Imran Khan is a fake person and accepting him as prime minister is insult to the prestigious office,” Maryam Nawaz said while talking to media persons on the eve of party’s consultative meeting here at the Parliament House.

Maryam said there was only one narrative of PML-N, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif which is ‘respect to vote’.

“The present government has come into being after playing havoc with respect of the vote. How can I accept a fake person sitting on seat of the prime minister,” she said.

She was of the view that the incumbent government did not have real mandate of the masses as it enjoyed fake mandate and came into power through backdoors.

“Shahbaz Sharif also considers Nawaz Sharif his leader,” Maryam said. She said only the real representative government of the masses could resolve issues being faced by masses.

Maryam, who attended her first meeting as the party’s vice president, said the present government did not need any enemy or opposition’s strength as it would fall itself.

She also came harsh on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) raising questions over credibility of the institution and its chairman.

“Why the NAB cannot see penalties paid by Aleema Khan and properties of those sitting in the government,” she said.

Maryam said it also reflects the NAB and those carrying out accountability did not enjoy any reputation. She questioned how the NAB could be called an independent institution when fake ministers of the government have become its spokespersons.

“The fake ministers are breaking news of a crackdown by the NAB four to five days before,” she said.

Maryam maintained that they never ran away from accountability. She said the PML-N faced fake accountability, but did not escape from cases.

Hamza Shahbaz, while talking to media persons, said the PML-N will not topple the government and would allow it complete five-year term in better interest of democracy.

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