PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday stepped up pressure on the PTI-led government, seeking ‘transparent early elections’ in the country to steer it out of its current crises.
The development came after JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), met the opposition leader in National Assembly at the latter’s residence in Lahore.
The two leaders discussed various issues including political situation of the country, rising inflation particularly the recent hike in prices of petrol and electricity.
Later, addressing the media accompanied by Fazl, Shehbaz said the prices of essential commodities including flour and sugar had skyrocketed but the PTI-led government was “asleep at the steering wheel”.
He maintained that all opposition parties, including those which were part of the PDM, were demanding free and transparent snap elections in the country, terming it the only way forward to steer the country out of crises. “It is the only way to restore the prosperous Pakistan of the past," he added.
“Although this path is not easy and requires a lot of hard work, the main step towards achieving this goal is transparent elections to which Maulana and I agree.”
The former Punjab chief minister said working day and night and utilising all resources would be needed to bring the country back to the pre-2018 state.
Shehbaz went on to say that it had now become inevitable to protest against the PTI-led government over the growing inflation, particularly the rising food prices.
“It is very unfortunate that Modi [Indian prime minister] could not damage army’s prestige so much that [Prime Minister] Imran Khan did by mishandling sensitive matters,” he lamented.
“History is a witness to sacrifices rendered by the institution responsible for Pakistan's defence.”
Speaking on the occasion, the JUI-F chief said the anti-government alliance was serious and strengthened in its goal of toppling the Imran Khan-led government.
He added that grand public gatherings would be organised in Faisalabad on October 16 and DI Khan on October 31 for this purpose.
“Everyone wants to get rid of this government, early elections are necessary… we stand with the employees being laid off by this government,” he added.
He termed the “sacking of employees from various government departments” as a “really serious” situation.
“The opposition parties will have to think of ways to steer the country out of this crisis.”
Fazl claimed that all institutions of the country had been destroyed by the incumbent rulers, adding that they were closely monitoring the recent postings and reshuffle in the military’s top brass.
The JUI-F chief said reports were circulating on media for the last couple of days about the army, which he said was an important institution for the country.
He hailed the "unity of command" and the public support the army enjoyed but went on to say that PM Imran had "harmed that institution".
"I am not talking about internal matters. We can differ on political fronts, but we want to see this institution disciplined and strengthened for the country's defence.”
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