ISLAMABAD: Pledging to give the government a tough time both inside and outside the parliament, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has finally decided to participate in the upcoming Senate elections. However, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said the options of long march and resignations would also be used at an appropriate time.
“There will be long march; resignations will also come and the government will have to go,” Maryam said while chairing the parliamentary party meeting in the committee room of the Parliament House on Monday afternoon.
Maryam chaired the party meeting in the presence of senior leaders like Raja Zafarul Haq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and others and conveyed to them a special message of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
To show solidarity with the Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Khawaja Asif, their pictures were displayed on two empty seats. Maryam told the party parliamentarians that Nawaz wanted them to expose the government’s incompetence at every forum while giving it a tough time both inside and outside the parliament.
She also conveyed to them that Nawaz wanted the party to actively participate in the Senate elections, which was endorsed by majority of parliamentarians. “There will be no more overnight changes in loyalties and creation of new political parties,” she said. She also maintained that there would be no cooperation with the government.
Referring to the Friday’s meeting between the opposition and government teams in the chamber of the opposition leader, she said the PTI leaders came to the opposition begging.
“You will be shocked if I tell you what they were expecting from us,” Maryam said. The second round of meeting [between the opposition and government] was to be held on Monday prior to the National Assembly’s session but the opposition was reluctant to involve in talks with the government.
A government team, headed by Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, met the opposition leaders to seek their cooperation for smooth proceedings of the two Houses of Parliament. Maryam told a questioner that the opposition would hold fast to its narrative despite the fact that the government was begging for their cooperation.
To a question, Maryam Nawaz said the year 2021 would be the year of general elections and year of end of those who were selected. Talking about Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s proposal for tabling a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly, Maryam said the issue would be discussed when taken up at the PDM forum.
“The PDM’s decision would be acceptable to all,” she said. Maryam also said there should be no change in the NAB Law and no new NAB Ordinance would be acceptable.
“The government should also face the same NAB, which leaders of the opposition parties have confronted,” she said. “There will be no change in the NAB Law. The government people will face the same law due to which we have suffered,” Maryam said.
To a question, she said the powers which PML-N wanted to expel from the politics should not be involved in political issues. “No effort to create dents in PDM or PML-N will succeed,” she maintained.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, PPP leader and former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed confidence that his party will succeed in convincing Maryam Nawaz and other component parties of PDM to use the option of no-confidence against Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“All the options, including resignations and moving a no-confidence motion either against Asad Qaiser or Prime Minister Imran Khan, are on the MDM agenda,” he said.
He said a letter had been written to Speaker Asad Qaiser pointing out that the opposition was not allowed to raise matter of public interest in the House. He said talks were not held due to the government’s attitude.
He said Asad Qaiser was custodian of the House but he had made it redundant by denying the opposition their right to speak on matters of public interest. “When the opposition leader wanted to speak in the House, he was denied permission. When Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari wanted to speak, he was given the floor but on somebody’s instructions his mike was switched off. Does the House run like this?”
He said the government was completely confused and the country was in total chaos due to the government’s economic policies. He said the country had turned into an ordnance factory, while hospitals were being privatized. He said the Punjab Text Book Board was still undecided on curriculum while petrol and power tariffs had been increased.
“Our foreign policy indicates that the government has completely failed to deliver whether it is the seizure of Pakistani plane in Malaysia, or Reko Diq issue. Pakistan has been made to pay penalties and our sovereignty is under attack,” he continued.
Answering a question, Pervez Ashraf said all available constitutional forums will be used to oust the government. “There is complete harmony in the PDM ranks and all democratic option could be utilised to send this government packing home,” he said.
He said the PDM will meet on February 4 in which all available options will be discussed. He said the PPP will convince the PML-N and Maryam Nawaz Sharif to use the option of no-confidence motion against Imran Khan and Asad Qaiser.
Replying to a question, he said whether the government sought the NRO or not but the PDM leaders will never use the word of NRO.
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