‘PTI, PPP to fight it out for opposition leader’

Published: April 30, 2013
“The PML-N believes that in order to fulfill its broad-based reform program it needs broad-based consensus” says Ahsan Iqbal.

“The PML-N believes that in order to fulfill its broad-based reform program it needs broad-based consensus” says Ahsan Iqbal.


Like everyone else, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N)’s Deputy General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal also thinks a hard battle is about to be fought. Only he believes that it’ll take place after the elections as the PPP and PTI fight it out over the slot for the Leader of the Opposition.

Riding in his landcruiser while touring villages in his constituency, Iqbal said the PML-N would sweep not just the three seats of his home district, but the majority of seats across the country.

He is contesting the general elections from NA 117 Narowal, which elected him as MNA in 1993, 1997 and in 2008.

“There will be tough competition between PPP and PTI over slot of leader of opposition in NA” Iqbal said as he resumed speaking with The Express Tribune after addressing a public gathering at Saddowal village.

As for the PML-N, Iqbal claimed his party will easily win 140 seats out of a total 272 NA seats from across the country.

Despite winning the simple majority that Ahsan is predicting, he says the PML-N will nonetheless form a broad based coalition government, including all those parties that agree with the PML-N’s reform program.

“The PML-N believes that in order to fulfill its broad-based reform program it needs broad-based consensus” he said.

He said that there is a difference between a majority broad-based coalition government and a non-majority broad based coalition government as the former has the luxury of deciding policy without being subjected to blackmail by its own coalition partners. A coalition government that is too dependent on its partners leads to the kind of impasse that was present in the past five years, he said.

When asked whether the PTI will also be a part of this coalition, he laughed out loud and said that since Imran Khan had already declared that he would not join hands with the PML-N, that question was moot.

Iqbal also made another prediction, saying that even if the PTI managed to win seats it would disintegrate into smaller factions, as its ticket holders are opportunists who are simply not cut out to sit in the opposition.

Warming to his theme, Iqbal said the PTI chief was only raising slogans and had no experience as to how to run the country. On the other hand, he said PML-N’s President Nawaz Sharif has proved himself as true leader of the country.

PML-N’s reform agenda

If you’re curious as to what the PML-N’s reform package will entail, here’s a look:

Its broad-based coalition government will be clean and free from corruption and will take swift action to revive the economy, introduce tough accountability, while also devolving education, and health to the district level.

To address the sinking law and order situation in Balochistan, it will initiate talks with Baloch nationalists in order to address their grievances.

Iqbal also said that it will make China a partner in the energy sector, thus resolving Pakistan’s energy crisis and also cementing the relationship with Beijing. He said that will improve relation with India and Nawaz Sharif will himself take the point in resolve all disputes with India.

He said his party will exploit the strategic location of the country which, with a population of 190 million, is the ideal place for foreign direct investment. He said PML-N will channel such investments to the energy, transport, telecom, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • Salman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:51AM

    Ahsan sb, my humble advice to you- please focus on your own seat in Narowal, Abrar is going to sweep that constituency- unfortunately this time, your contest is with people who have already delivered in personal capacities even before taking govt over- may Allah NOT be with you this time around


  • Aftab Hussain
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:55AM

    Dream on. PTI will clean sweep if people of Pakistan have any sense. No more of your LIES and FALSE promises


  • Falcon
    Apr 30, 2013 - 6:12AM

    I found two points interesting in his discourse: Firstly, the talk about a government free of corruption. In the last few days, scam of about PKR 30 billion has been revealed in Sasti Roti scheme alone. How will they manage a much bigger country budget without having controls in place and with the quality of political turncoats they are accepting every day? Secondly, to his point that PTI will disintegrate because its ticket holders are ‘opportunists’, I think that applies more so to PMLN rather than PTI (where 80% of ticket holders are non-electables).


  • Go Zardari Go!!
    Apr 30, 2013 - 6:14AM

    ET seems right at home when talking to their masters. How about asking the massive corruption that took place in the sasti roti scheme about 17 billion rupee worth. Lets see if ET ever reports on it.


  • Jehanir
    Apr 30, 2013 - 6:21AM

    Keep dreaming dude. Either you have no idea of public sentiment or you are just simply the biggest fool….


  • harry Salt
    Apr 30, 2013 - 6:35AM

    Why do they always say what IK says? Ahsan Iqbal can dream all he likes, I have a feeling IK will sweep the NA and PAs.


  • Ali
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:04AM

    Ahsan Iqbal who i thought was an educated gentleman is actually quite an arrogant and hypocrite. I was watching his speech in Narowal where he took swipe at Abrar as a “Mirasi”. He is calling him all sort of names and mocking him as a low class just because Abrar is a singer. Same hypocrites use songs on these singers and enjoy them but if they stand against them, it is a crime. Abrar has delivered a lot even before coming to power and is humble and educated person.


  • startrek
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:05AM

    “Ahsan sb, my humble advice to you”
    Get ready to buy enough burnol as it is already in shortage because of increasing jealousy among pti supporters given pmln populaity and visible landslide victory
    May Allah heals PTI burns.


  • NICOPer
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:08AM

    Mr. Manan,

    You have based your entire analysis on the rural popular vote. This is not enough for PML-N to win the majority. Substantiate your claims better.



  • Mirza
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:18AM

    Ahsan is saying what TTP’s agenda has been all along. By terrorizing the secular opposition PML-N believes they would have only one party to defeat and that too a rightwing with little experience. PML-N has never been a national party and cannot rule the country all alone even with the active help of killer terrorists. Wake up PML and Sharif Brothers, Pakistani masses are not going to be stupid. Despite the terror campaign they would come out in droves to cast their votes against the apologists of TTP and terrorists.


  • Baset
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:25AM

    People of Pakistan have already decided, it’s time to give PTI a chance #NayaPakistan


  • Arsalan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:37AM

    PML N’s government will be clean and free of corruption? Joke of the year.


  • Xulfjan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:39AM

    Look what experienced politicians have take us to!! Corruption,ineptitude,family politics, perpetuation of Biradri. We will be choosing these already tested people on our own peril!!


  • HJ
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:47AM

    So how much has PML-N paid to give a mere opinion of one its leaders, such high profile on the news website? Making it a virtual headline while only mentioning it in the sunspace that its an opinion of one individual.

    Money money being thrown everywhere.


  • Amazed
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:10AM

    ET is always giving edge to PML N. I dnt know why they are not unbiased.


  • kashif
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:28AM

    My question to PMLn is, after remaining in power for almost 25 years how many hydel power plants did you make? All these plants i.e. Tarbela dam and Mangla dam etc. were made under Ayub Khan’s 10 years in power.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:30AM

    Ahsan Sahib is a seasoned politician but his prediction is wrong.. After a historical defeat, Imran will refuse to accept election results and would try to create disturbance and lawlessness, but he did not know that his Taliban friends have already crossed that line. The only option left for him would be to retire from politics.


  • ikhlaas
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:31AM

    ahsan iqbal will take 5 years to recover from the shock that he lost to abrar ul haq


  • fhaaad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:39AM



  • qrfaheem
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:41AM

    Ahsan Sb. U are very close to my analysis. PML-N would have 120 out of 272 seats. PTI/PML-Q & PPP would have 90 seats (distributed between them). MQM would have 18 seats.
    Love Pakistan & serve Pakistan…
    Election should be held on 11th May at any cost.


  • qrfaheem
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:42AM

    Imran khan would wait for the next election to have a maturity & sincerity. Everyone knows who is writing his scripts.


  • Kamran
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:17AM

    @Salman: Six :D


  • Major Facepalm
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:25AM

    I always rated him better than the rest but i think he’s lost it already !!!Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:34AM

    Good comments. This man is going to lose his deposit and PMLN will see its demise on May 11. If there is no vote rigging and ballot stuffing, at which all major parties are quite adept, we will hear the voice of the people.


  • YP Mississauga
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:56AM

    Don’t be so sure, your party may have to fight it out with PPP for job of leader of opposition


  • Arzoo
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:10AM

    Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, graduate of Wharton School of Business, a highly educated man, is a member of a party, which he knows is headed by tax evaders, and ones who take turns with PPP to rule the helpless people of our country. So, what he is saying now is that it is their turn again to loot the country. My request to the people: do not give them this opportunity again. It is your decision to vote for crooks or for honest people. Vote for honest people so your difficulties are eased a bit. It is your right to have good schools, decent medical care, clean roads, honest police officers, and efficient government departments who can deliver speedy services to you. They will not just give all these things to you. You have to fight for it. Vote for the right people on May 11. My choice is for PTI this time.


  • Ammar Shafique
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:15AM

    Dear Ahsan Iqbal sahib,

    Since you were the MNA from Narowal in 2008, what have you done for the people of Narowal in the past 5 years?


  • ahsan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:24AM

    Worry about your own seat, Abrar is a person who has delivered while you on the other hand are making promises that were never delivered. FAKE PEOPLE OF PMLN.


  • Iram
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:30AM

    your leader is saying that PPP and PTI is having partnership and you are of the view that there is competition between them, who is right man?


  • Salman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:51AM

    This man is hallucinating that his party will win the elections. People have seen this friendly opposition and kind of damage they can further inflict on this country. If they are thinking they can rigg the polls, then people are ready to show their reaction


  • Jahangir
    Apr 30, 2013 - 11:41AM

    The way Zardari are Imran are cooperating with each other during elections, they will also sit together in opposition.


  • Umar Usman Ch.
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:19PM

    PTI stance before May 11 = We will sweep.
    PTI stance after May 11 = Dhandli, Dhandli


  • ihsan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:50PM

    We are really sick of them.They must lose to give chance to Imran


  • kashif
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:16PM

    I am sure it is a fight between PMLn and PPP for the next opposition leader. PTI is going to make the next government..


  • Shoaib
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:12PM

    We are winning the elections…. vote pti


  • Zohaib Khan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:31PM

    PML(N) will win despite coalition of PPP and PTI.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:42PM

    @ ikhlaas: I am sure you have no idea where this constituency is located. Ahsan Sahib will win his seat with margin of twenty thousand votes.


  • John the Baptist
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:57PM

    My request to Abrar is to hold the biggest concert outside this megalomaniac’s house in Narowal on the eve of May 11, singing “kinay kinay janra, Ehsan dey ghar”!


  • sensible
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:17PM

    Mark my words PMLN not gonna win more than 70 seats, inshallah PTI will win over 100 and will stun all so-called analysts, and this guy gonna loose big time in Narowal, Ibrar ul Haq is very strong contender.


  • Salman
    May 1, 2013 - 10:45AM

    Your analysis or you’re related to ECP body who already planned ore-poll rigging. That’s the only way PMLN will get 120 seats


  • Khan
    May 1, 2013 - 9:27PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    I have been reading your comments from a very long time .. but can only feel sorry for you and all those people who keep on electing same leaders who are dictators in their own parties. My family comes from a place where we used to support ANP and some still are part of their hierarchy .. they have done more road works than PML(N) if that is what we call development.
    I strongly oppose right wing parties including IK reconciliation’s policy but at least he is not supporting banned outfits indirectly
    I.K has done much more than our ex prime ministers could do despite never been in government and if he turned out to be the same then we should kick him out too in next election but must give chance to new leadership.Recommend

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