With elections looming, Nawaz questions timings of anti-government protests by opposition

Says opposition should wait a few months until elections, let people decide fate of PML-N


News Desk January 16, 2018
Former PM Nawaz Sharif with his daughter Maryam outside an accountability court in Islamabad. PHOTO: FILE

Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has questioned the timings of an anti-government protest movement led by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri with general elections just around the corner.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) among other opposition parties have joined hands with the PAT for its scheduled protest demonstration on January 17.

The Qadri led party had been demanding the resignations of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and law minister Rana Sanullah for their alleged role in the 2014 shooting of political workers in Lahore's Model Town.

Speaking to reporters outside an accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday, the deposed prime minister said the general elections were only five months away and staging yet another dharna (sit-in) at this juncture pointed towards a conspiracy to derail democracy in the country.

“I do not understand why the opposition is planning a movement against the government now. It is only four or five months until the government completes its tenure,” Sharif remarked.

'Imran has refused to share stage with Zardari during Jan 17 PAT-led protest'

“Why has Maulana sahib [Tahirul Qadri] arrived from Canada at this point in time? What are the reasons behind their calls for a movement against us? Maulana sahib should wait for another four to five months and let the people decide for themselves.”

The deposed premier also answered questions about the political crisis in Balochistan. He said that making a man, who could never amass enough support from the people, a man who was bound to lose the election, the chief minister of a province was a horrific joke with the people of Pakistan.

Sharif noted that the troubles of the province were of a very serious nature and that a man who only acquired 500 votes in the election for chief minister would never be able to tackle the problems. He reiterated that it was nauseating joke being played with the people of Pakistan.

“We are in contact with the leadership of the province in this regard. We will call a conference on the matter soon,” he added.

Commenting on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference against him and his family members, Sharif was of the opinion that there was nothing in the cases and that he was still unable to understand the basis on which he had been disqualified.

Abdul Quddus Bizenjo: What you need to know about the new CM Balochistan


The dissident group that overthrew the PML-N government in Balochistan unanimously nominated Mir Quddus Bizenjo, former deputy speaker of the provincial assembly and a member of the PML-Quaid (PML-Q), as a consensus candidate for the office of chief minister.

This was formally announced at a news conference attended by political heavyweights and tribal chieftains, including Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani, Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali and Sarfraz Bugti.

Interestingly, with the emergence of a PML-Q man as the next chief minister, the PML-N is now confined to just Punjab after it was effectively dislodged from Balochistan.

Born in 1974, Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo completed his initial education in his native town of Shindi located in remote Awaran tehsil, and secured a master’s degree in English from the University of Balochistan in 2000.

Retracing the steps of his father Abdul Majeed Bizenjo, who was thrice elected from Awaran, Quddus Bizenjo commenced his political career from his home town Shindi Jhao Awaran.

Elected as Balochistan Assembly for the first time in 2002 from PB-41 Awaran, Bizenjo was sworn in as provincial minister for livestock and dairy development in Jam Yousuf’s cabinet.

During the Senate election in 2015, Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali quit the ruling PML-N and tendered his resignation from his post just before a no-trust motion was tabled against him.

As deputy speaker, Bizenjo was optimistic about becoming the next speaker, but it was not to be. He resigned as deputy speaker when CM Nawab Sanaullah Zehri nominated Raheela Durrani as new speaker of the provincial assembly.

Balochistan CM contenders start obtaining nomination papers

On January 2, Bizenjo and 14 like-minded members of Balochistan Assembly submitted a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Zehri of the PML-N, triggering a political crisis in the province.

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