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February 26, 2021

Gilani unanimous candidate of PDM: Maryam

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February 26, 2021

LAHORE: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has said she doesn’t see any kind of political activism of the establishment, hoping it would confine itself to its constitutional role and remain impartial.

She was talking to the media after a meeting with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who met her along with his team at Raiwind on Thursday. Party sources said they discussed the overall political situation in the country, by-election results, Senate elections and PDM’s future moves. Responding a question on the role of “hidden hands” in the by-polls, Maryam said in a democratic country non-political forces or the establishment should not be part of any political game. She said they made headlines when they became part of any game. “I think they should be limited to their constitutional role,” she maintained.

Earlier, during the meeting both leaders unanimously declared former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani their candidate in the upcoming Senate elections. Discussing in detail the future strategy of the government, the two parties agreed that no field would be left empty for the government and they would fight the government’s tactics together. The delegation led by Bilawal Bhutto was received by PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz along with party leaders, including Ahsan Iqbal, Pervaiz Rashid, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rana

Sanaullah and Saad Rafique. Maryam Nawaz also arranged lunch for the participants.

After the joint discussions, Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto also met one on one and discussed their future strategies. Party sources said Bilawal gave a special message of his father to her, which she will convey to her father. Talking to the media after the meeting, Maryam thanked the PPP delegation and said that good things had happened in the meeting. “Yusuf Raza Gilani is the unanimous candidate of the PDM. All democrats like him,” she said, adding the PML-N was supporting him in the Senate elections. “This is not only the support for Gilani but a clear division between democratic forces and those who have betrayed the trust of the people by imposing this government,” she said. She said the rulers were responsible for the problems of people, they were responsible for stealing their jobs, flour, sugar, electricity and elections. She said those who stood on the side of the people, Gilani was their candidate.

She said every democrat, regardless of a party, would not vote for the PTI because Imran Khan was guilty of creating problems for people during the last three years. “Life has been made difficult for people, inflation has increased, joblessness and unemployment are high and people are starving due to high prices of essentials,” she maintained. She said there had been a revolt in Imran Khan’s party in every province. “Democrats stand on one side and tormentors of people stand on the other,” she claimed.

To a question if she was planning to go out of the country, she said a new false NAB case would open against her if she even expressed the desire. To another question, she said if any amendment was required to the constitution for Senate elections, then it was the job of the parliament. “The Election Commission of Pakistan has also said that that it is the job of the parliament. Amending the constitution is not the job of courts and they should stay away from it,” she added. However, she announced that the PML-N and PDM would not sit with the “fake” government for bringing in any constitutional change.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Gilani was the unanimous candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement in the Senate elections. He said Gilani’s campaign was going well. “The by-elections have proved that the people of the country are with the PDM. With the victory of Gilani, it will also be proved that people are with the PDM,” Bilawal maintained. “We are grateful to Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and the PML-N for reposing confidence in Gilani. He was the longest serving Prime Minister and fulfilled his responsibilities very well as he took care of his party as well as allies and members of the opposition in the National Assembly,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto said that in every corner of the country, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan to Pishin, the government had been badly defeated in the by-elections. “The PDM decided to challenge the government in every field, in by-elections as well as in the Senate and it has changed the whole political situation and panicked the government. The whole of Pakistan was watching when they were badly exposed,” he claimed.

Yusuf Raza Gilani said the PDM would win against the incompetent and illegitimate rulers “who have become a burden on the common man and pushed the people into unprecedented unemployment and poverty. “We all will work together for democracy. We will restore a people’s government that would solve problems and not create problems like this government did,” he said, adding the purpose of the PDM was to restore democracy and let every institution play its constitutional and democratic role. “This is a long-term struggle and its results will not be immediate. We have to work continuously to oust the puppet government and restore democracy,” he concluded.

To a question, Bilawal Bhutto said that there was no pressure to bring Hafeez Shaikh in the last PPP government. He said for today, the question should be asked from Imran Khan. “The contest between Hafeez Shaikh and Yusuf Raza Gilani will be a test for every voter,” he said, adding that members of parliament would have to answer for whether they voted for PTI’s IMF candidate or for a people’s candidate. “We hope MPs will vote according to people’s expectations, not for technocrats and PTI’s imported candidates again and again,” he added.

To a question, Bilawal Bhutto said, “We do not think that we are playing a game of no-confidence. We are only contesting Senate elections, which are different from bringing in a no confidence move. The PDM decided to contest by-elections, fight the rulers in the Senate, hold a long march together and remove the government. We are approaching every member of the assembly for Gulani and on March 3, everyone will see who is with who,” he added. He said the allies of the government and disgruntled members had been forcibly bound together and the PDM would soon send the “selected” government home.