PML-N leaders engage in public spat

Sana calls Javed a ‘conspiracy theorist’ over rigging allegations

Rameez Khan April 26, 2024
Rana Sanaullah and Javed Latif. PHOTO: FILE


Tensions within the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) reached a boiling point as two senior party leaders, also former federal ministers of the outgoing government, engaged in a public spat over allegations of election rigging.

Rana Sanaullah threw shade at Javed Latif, branding him a “conspiracy theorist” for his allegations of widespread election rigging. Latif, in a riposte, dared Sanaullah to put his money where his mouth is, suggesting that if elections were truly fair, Sanaullah should step down as party president Punjab, owning up to his failure in the province.

While the PML-N turned a blind eye, disregarding damning remarks from two senior leaders implicating the party in election rigging and collusion with powers that be to secure government, the accusations have gained traction, contrary to the party's expectations.

The escalation has sparked a heated dispute among PML-N leaders, with publicly traded barbs.

According to leaders within the federal cabinet whom The Express Tribune had previously talked to, the PML-N had hoped that the issue would fade away over time. They believed that taking action against senior leaders would only serve to draw public attention to the allegations, ultimately proving counterproductive.

Also read: PML-N stays aloof from internal rift

Javed Latif was the first one in the ranks to come forward immediately after the elections, alleging that he had been defeated by the establishment's interference. He even went on to allege that another PML-N leader, Rana Tanveer, along with others from his district, had manipulated their way into power through rigging.

Later on, he disclosed that an inquiry had been launched into his allegations of rigging. He stated that he had been summoned to provide his statement and present evidence regarding the matter.

He even stated that after the elections, when he sought a recount, he was informed that if he pursued it for his constituency, Nawaz Sharif's constituency would also be reopened, suggesting doubts about Nawaz Sharif's victory results as well.

Meanwhile, former interior minister Rana Sanaullah had previously attributed the formation of the cabinet, the establishment of the government, and the inclusion of certain names in the government to the country's establishment. However, more recently, when questioned about Javed Latif's allegations regarding rigging, he not only dismissed him but also labelled him as conspiracy theories.

He went on to state that political leaders should admit their defeat and accept the victory of their opponents.

In response, Javed Latif retorted that if Rana Sanaullah believed there was no foul play and the results were fair, then he should accept responsibility for the poor performance of the party on his home turf of Faisalabad and resign.

Another leader, Tariq Fazal Chaudhary, condemned Javed Latif for making such statements.


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