PM Nawaz shrugs off politics of sit-ins

PML-N kicks off public campaign to counter opposition parties

Irfan Ghauri April 26, 2016


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said the ruling party only believes in the politics of development aimed at ending poverty and bringing prosperity to the country.

“We do not believe in politics of sit-ins that is detrimental to the country and revolves around blatant lies,” the premier said in a public address in Kotli Sattiyan tehsil on Monday.

Protest inside red zone turns into a sit-in

Amid the controversy surrounding the Panama leaks investigation commission, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has kicked off a ‘mass outreach campaign’ with a strategy to highlight its development agenda while wooing allied parties for support on the political front.

Starting from Kotli Sattiyan, where PM Nawaz announced building a hospital, providing gas and carpeting of all roads in the tehsil, the premier has a hectic schedule at least for the next two weeks.

He will be visiting Muzaffarabad, Manshera, Bannu, DI Khan, Quetta, Sahiwal and Khaniwal as per the proposed schedule his secretariat has chalked out. He will be holding groundbreaking and inauguration ceremonies of different mega projects.

Countering his critics Monday, Nawaz said he did not intend to focus his speech on criticising anyone, but to focus on the development of Pakistan. “My governments have always served the country selflessly and will continue to do so,” he added.

He said the objective of his visit was to provide financial assistance to the people affected by floods and landslides. After giving away cheques among the affected people, the PM directed the area commissioner to ensure all families get compensatory cheques within 24 hours.

Gathering supporters

Through these public gatherings, the government plans to counter the opposition’s onslaught and the mounting pressure on the premier to step down. At the same time, the ruling party is seeking support from its allied parties.

Earlier in the day, the PM met with National Party (NP) chief Hasil Bizenjo.

The Baloch nationalist party along with the Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) – both of which are partners of the PML-N in the Balochistan coalition government – will extend their support to the ruling party inside and outside parliament.

The government is also in contact with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl JUI-F), Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for supporting the terms of references (ToRs) formulated for the proposed Panama commission.

A PML-N insider told The Express Tribune the party had the backing of JUI-F, NP, PkMAP, ANP and MQM. “You can say ANP and MQM are 50 per cent with us. We are confident of getting their support in the end,” he said.

At the same time, the PML-N believes the newfound love between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will not last for long. The government now plans to stick to its ToRs and wait for a response from the Supreme Court.

PTV running at a loss in PML-N tenure

The premier’s open offer to the people of Kotli Sattiyan to ask for any new project they wanted also shows the benevolent approach the government intends to adopt to pacify the general public. He is scheduled to visit Azad Kashmir capital Muzaffarabad today (Tuesday) where elections for the legislative assembly are scheduled in June.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2016.

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