With two days left for the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s Swat rally on July 4, which marks a fresh start of the anti-government drive for the second time, the biggest party in the alliance, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, is not yet clear whether Shehbaz Sharif or Maryam Nawaz would lead the party.
PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal is saying that Maryam alone would lead, while party spokesperson is of the view that Maryam and Shehbaz, both, would lead. However, Maryam and Nawaz Sharif’s spokesperson is saying that the Swat rally was not a big enough event and would only be attended by local leadership.
Iqbal said that the preparation for the Swat rally was almost complete, adding that from the PML-N, Maryam would lead the party.
Asked that there was no hype of this event with which the PDM was restarting its anti-government drive, Iqbal said how the hype could be felt in cities far from the place of the rally. “The enthusiasm level is still the same as it was during the first round of PDM rallies.”
Asked why party President Shehbaz was not leading his party into the rally, Iqbal said it had to be either him (Shehbaz) or her (Maryam) and since Maryam was going, there was no need for a party president.
Also read: Maryam to lead PML-N poll campaign in AJK
On the other hand, the party spokesperson remained adamant that Shehbaz would attend the Swat rally. “Both would lead the party into the rally.”
When informed that Iqbal was making the above said claim, she said she cannot comment on why he was saying that. Asked if PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif would speak to the crowd, she replied that she was not aware of that either.
According to a well-placed leader, these PDM rallies pose no serious threat to the government.
She said that at best, they will provide the PML-N an opportunity to prepare for the election and showcase its strength.
“Maryam is aware of the overall situation meaning that she too will avoid taking a head-on approach during her speech, as she did in the past.”
The criticism for meddling in elections and the demand to work in their legal ambit will still be there, she added.
Asked about reports surfacing about Maryam leading the election campaign in AJK, she said that Maryam was going there on public demand.
“People want her to be there: after all she is a crowd-puller.” She said that Shehbaz too, will be in AJK for the election campaign, contrary to what is being reported. Both, however, to her knowledge, have no plan to share a stage in AJK.
Iqbal on the other hand clarified that Maryam and Shehbaz, both, will lead the PML-N into the election campaign in AJK. “Both will leave for AJK in a week's time.”
Asked if both will lead rallies together or separately, Iqbal said that there were several gatherings planned in AJK, so both will have a busy schedule attending rallies separately.
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