Nawaz rebuffs Shehbaz’s views on political reconciliation


LAHORE:

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif said on Monday his party’s struggle was not just winning or losing a few seats, but to “free ourselves” from the bondage of the violators of the Constitution and to stand on the right side of history without compromising the self-esteem.

Nawaz’s comments are seen as an apparent rebuff of his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif’s statement in a recent interview about political reconciliation. Though, Nawaz did not mention his brother in his tweets but those clearly appeared to be in response to Shehbaz’s interview.

During the TV interview aired on Sunday, the PML-N president responded to questions about his policy of reconciliation vis-a-vis his brother’s policy of confrontation. The PML-N president had said: “If we are to take this country forward, we have to rise above our personal likes and dislikes.”

Talking about burying the hatchet and national reconciliation, Shehbaz said that the PML-N could have come to power in 2018, if the party had properly strategised. “We should leave our personal egos behind and direct all our energies towards resolving issues of the country,” he added.

Nawaz took to micro-blogging website, Twitter, on Monday to rebuff his younger brother’s comments. “Any attempt to create a disconnect between the PML-N and the people will not succeed,” the former prime minister said.

Nawaz further wrote in his tweets that the “dubious nature” of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) victory in the Azad Kashmir polls was obvious from the fact that the six winning PML-N candidates cumulatively bagged around 0.5m votes, while the 26 winning PTI candidates received 0.6m votes.

“Who will believe in such a victory for the PTI? The manner in which these results were obtained in Azad Kashmir and Sialkot were exposed even before the election. [This rigging] will be further exposed in the days to come,” Nawaz wrote in a series of tweets.

Also read: PTI set to form AJK govt after clinching three more reserved seats

Nawaz said that skyrocketing inflation, poverty and unemployment were “crushing the masses”. “While the government functionaries are addressing empty chairs at public meetings, the PML-N is holding historic rallies [which is a proof of its popularity],” he claimed.

It has been noticed during the past several weeks that Shehbaz is being pushed to the back seat by Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, who has been steering the party and even led the Azad Kashmir election campaign. This triggered rumours that Shehbaz was not happy with her style of politics.

In Sunday’s interview, Shehbaz was asked about Nawaz and Maryam’s criticism of the establishment. Shehbaz responded with very lengthy answer, saying that “things are said in the heat of emotions”.

The PTI won the AJK polls after taking 26 of the 45 seats in the July 25 general election. The party routed the PML-N which could only secure 6 seats. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) emerged the second largest party with 10 seats.

Interestingly, the PML-N was the second largest party in terms of vote cast. Out of 3.2 million registered voters in the AJK and 613,590 or 32.5% voted for the PTI, while 491,099 or25% people voted for the PML-N candidates. The PPP bagged 349,895 or 18.2% votes.

The PML-N, which was ruling the region for the last 5 years, has rejected the results and accused the PTI of large-scale rigging. The opposition party has also announced a protest movement in and outside Pakistan.

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