LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is destined for the same fate as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P), said Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary of Information Fawad Chaudhry at a news conference on Wednesday.
Chaudhry claimed that the ruling party will soon shatter into several factions, just like MQM.
“PML-N president Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his party are moving towards the same fate as the MQM and its founder,” he said. “Nawaz believes that all cases against him should be dismissed since his party won the Lodhran by-election, but the winning the by-election does not mean he is given a free pass.”
In relation to the recent NA-154 by-election in Lodhran, he said the result is against the expectations of PTI.
“The by-election has made it clear that the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has been eliminated from Punjab, even from the south which was once considered its stronghold. Only PTI and PML-N will be competing in the upcoming general elections in Punjab,” he maintained.
Chaudhry said the result of the by-election had also proved how hard it is to defeat the ruling party in its province. “Similarly, in Sindh, it is difficult to defeat PPP, whereas in K-P, it is difficult to win elections against PTI, he stated.
He added that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had called a core committee meeting on Thursday to discuss the defeat in the by-elections and other political developments in the country.
Responding to a question, he refuted the claim that dynastic politics are at play in his party. The allegation came after rumours started to circulate about appointing Ali Tareen as Secretary General after the disqualification of his father Jehangir Tareen. “Dynasty politics is not Ali Tareen contesting on his father’s seat,” he maintained.
He stressed that that his party is currently battling against “the mafia” which spends public money to rig elections. He highlighted that the ruling party distributed over Rs94 billion in development funds among its MNAs to buy the upcoming general elections.
“During his tenure, former premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf did the same five months before the elections, but the apex court had nullified his attempt. However, in the case of PML-N, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is not paying attention to the opposition’s complaints regarding the ruling party’s involvement in pre-poll rigging,” he stated.
Chaudhry also showed appreciation for the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request to place Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt Safdar’s names in the Exit Control List (ECL). He called it a positive step, adding that the bureau should ensure their names end up on the list by implementing relevant laws as part of their responsibility as an anti-corruption organisation.
Earlier, he pointed out that NAB had made a similar request in Ishaq Dar’s case, but the Federal interior minister and Secretary did not entertain it and helped Dar’s “escape from Pakistan”. The bureau should arrest those involved in the non-execution of its orders, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2018.