LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided not to go for street agitation against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government despite Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent ‘invitation’ to the opposition parties to hold a protest sit-in against his government’s anti-graft campaign.
The PM in his Wednesday’s address to the nation once again offered the opposition parties the shipping containers and free food if they wished to launch a protest against his government.
However, the PML-N leaders have again ruled out the possibility of any protest or a sit-in any time soon. They have termed Khan’s speech as a rant of a leader still stuck in the ‘opposition mode’. They claim that the PTI government does not need any protest or sit-in as it is already weakening.
“The PTI is a very strong opposition of its own government,” quipped a PML-N leader.
Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan said the PM had mastered only one speech which he also used to deliver while standing on a container during his party’s 2014 sit-in.
“Imran Khan has failed to come out of that opposition mode and that is why the PML-N does not take his speeches seriously,” he said.
He said the party would not go for any street protest as there would be no need of it. “Protest days are gone and the PML-N would achieve nothing out of protest. The party will continue to fight its case only in the Senate and the National Assembly and provincial legislatures,” he added.
The senator said the PML-N would do everything on its time, adding that the party would give the PTI a surprise of its life.
Answering a question about former PM Nawaz Sharif’s absence from mainstream politics, he said, “Sharif was and still is at the helm of the party affairs.”
“Nawaz Sharif has a different style of working. He does not wish to draw unnecessary attention towards himself. Sharif would not succumb to the pressure of social media, which is rife with rumours of a deal [with establishment]. He will interact with the media when he will feel the need for it,” he added.
Pervaiz Rashid, another senior PML-N leader, said they were fighting their cases on relevant forums and the party would move forward responsibly. “We will not stoop to the level of the PTI. The PML-N is a mature party and is well aware of how to handle its affairs,” he said.
He said the party would not stage protests on the instructions of Imran. He also denied speculations that Sharif was refusing to answer media queries.
“[On an occasion] Sharif didn’t respond to media as journalists started asking questions within the court premises, where the judge had advised them not to talk about politics,” he added.