ISLAMABAD: Senior PML-N members reached London on Thursday to consult with the party leadership about legislation on army chief’s extension and discuss the political situation in the country.
They include Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Asif, Rana Tanveer, Ayaz Sadiq and Pervaiz Rasheed. Ahsan Iqbal, meanwhile, will depart for the British capital on Friday morning.
They will attend a meeting presided over by party president Shehbaz Sharif. The PML-N leaders will also inquire after the health of ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the party supremo.
The party has accused the PTI government of deliberately rendering the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) dysfunctional so that the foreign funding case against the ruling party could be put off.
“The chief election commissioner is posted for a fixed tenure. The government knew for the last six months that the CEC was set to retire in December,” Iqbal said while speaking to reporters outside the Parliament House.
“The government should have consulted with the opposition. The opposition leader [PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif] recommended the names for the new CEC himself,” he added.
“The government is responsible for the delay in the appointment of the new CEC.”
Iqbal maintained that the government conspired to render the ECP dysfunctional.
“The ECP becoming dysfunctional even for a day will call the entire system into question.”
Claiming that the government was not allowing the issuance of production orders of incarcerated MNAs, the PML-N leader said the opposition lawmakers had staged a walkout from the National Assembly proceedings.
“This government has rendered parliament ineffective. Even a section officer’s directives carry more weight than those of the National Assembly speaker.”
Iqbal said the production order for party leader Khawaja Saad Rafique was issued but the Punjab government did not follow the directives. “Rana Sanaullah’s production order was not even issued,” he lamented.
“The National Assembly speaker’s orders have been tossed into the dustbin. If the speaker has no authority, one can imagine how powerless parliament has become.”
The PML-N leader said the government knew that the opposition would raise the issue of inflation in parliament so it organised a news conference of a “so-called accountability cell” to divert the nation’s attention.
“This isn’t a government, but a comedy theatre,” he added.
Iqbal said the government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were unable to produce any evidence in the Supreme Court against Shehbaz.
“Now the government has come up with more allegations.”