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December 9, 2019

PML-N for fresh elections through in-house change

Top Story

December 9, 2019

LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders have said the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has failed on all fronts due to “incompetence”, and therefore in-house change is needed for free and fair elections to bring a democratically elected government to resolve critical issues faced by the masses.

Senior most leadership of the PML-N held a meeting under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif at a restaurant on Edgware Road where the current situation of Pakistan was discussed and future strategy formalised. Shahbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rana Tanveer, Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Pervaiz Rasheed, Amir Muqam, Khurram Destagir and Ishaq Dar attended the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the PMLN leaders walked to Avenfield apartments to meet Nawaz Sharif to inquire about his health and to update him about the decisions taken during the meeting. According to Shahbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal, the PML-N leadership agreed that in-house change was needed. Outside the restaurant, Khawaja Asif said: “For fresh elections, it’s our view that there should be an in-house change not for the sake of perpetuating the change but for the sake of holding new elections.”

He said the PML-N leaders had consulted Shahbaz on the political developments that had taken place over the past few days. “We will formulate the party’s policy on these matters upon our return to Pakistan,” he said. Khawaja Asif added that the issue of the army chief’s extension could not be commented upon until the issuance of the detailed judgment. After holding meeting with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for about 90 minutes, Shahbaz Sharif and Ahsan Iqbal briefed media outside the Avenfield apartments.

The former Punjab chief minister said that Dr Adnan Khan briefed the party leaders about the elder Sharif’s health. He said that results of PET scans had shown that his lymph notes had grown and further investigation will be carried out related to lymph notes as well as the causes of issue of platelets’ maintenance. He said that his brother will return to Pakistan upon the completion of his treatment and when advised by the doctors. He said: “The atmosphere of Islamabad is gripped by the culture of jaadu toona (magic)”. Shahbaz Sharif said that the PML-N wanted the best persons to become members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and that was the reason behind his letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan suggesting three names for the commission.

“Our experience in the recent past with Imran Khan has been extremely disappointing but hoping against the hope I wrote to the PM. It’s our best effort from the bottom of our hearts that we should talk about these critical issues, develop a consensus and chose the best candidates.”

Former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the issue of army chief’s extension was discussed in the meeting and it was decided that the PML-N would comment on the matter after seeing the detailed judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He accused the PTI government of deliberately creating an issue. He said the extension of army chief’s tenure should have been dealt as a routine matter and the government had August to November to go through all rules and aspects but they deliberately made it complicated. “This proves that either the PTI government is most incompetent or most dishonest. Similarly, the appointment of CEC members was known for ages but this appointment was delayed and then leader of the opposition had no choice but to write to the court.

Ahsan Iqbal accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of failing the oppressed people of Kashmir by not doing anything for them in more than four months. He said the Prime Minister announced that he was on a mission to bring truce to the world conflicts and that he will be an ambassador of Kashmiris but in four months his government has not done anything for Kashmiris, the government has failed to get international support on Kashmir while lockdown and curfew of Kashmir continues and human rights of Kashmiris continue being violated by the occupation Indian army.

He said the PML-N would be joining other parties to protest against inflation and failure of the government to provide relief to ordinary people of Pakistan. He said that food inflation is above 16 per cent which is affecting the poor people and electricity bills have gone up to five times.” He said the PTI government’s agenda was to divert attention of the people from real issues by attacking opposition with baseless allegations and lies.