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May 17, 2019

Nawaz directs PML-N to launch anti-govt campaign after Eid

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May 17, 2019

LAHORE: On the directions of party supremo Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) has geared up the party leadership to devise a mechanism of launching an anti-government movement after Eidul Fitr, to take on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over its economic policies’ failure.

Sources told The News that the PML-N is likely to launch an anti-government movement after the announcement of annual budget 2019-20. The party leadership believes the PTI government will present a tough budget and impose more taxes, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions, which will make it easier for it to bring people on the streets.

PML-N supermo Nawaz Sharif has requested the senior party leaders, who have been inactive and sidelined in the recent past, to give up their grievances and come forward to guide the party and play their role in saving the country from “inept and novice leaders who were destroying country’s economy on the dictates of foreign and local masters”, sources added.

On the directive of Nawaz Sharif, senior party leadership will hold a meeting next Monday in the chambers of the leader of the opposition in National Assembly in Islamabad to chalk out a strategy to launch a movement against the government, said PML-N Punjab Information Secretary Azma Zahid Bukhari while talking to The News. She was among those leaders and family members who called on Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat jail Thursday afternoon.

Those who were allowed to meet Nawaz Sharif were former federal minister Ghulam Dastgir Khan, his son and former minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, former speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, former minister Rana Tanvir Hussain, Javed Latif and others. Among the family members were Nawaz Sharif’s mother, daughter Maryam Nawaz, his physician Dr Adnan, his cousins and other relatives.

Azma said Nawaz was very upset over the economic failure of the government and fast deteriorating economy of the country. He expressed concerns that price-hike had literally broken the backbone of the poor people, who are left unable to make ends meet. He was critical of what he called clumsy economic policies of the PTI, resulting in hike of US dollar and crash of stock exchange, both reaching record low in country’s history. Azma said Nawaz Sharif was especially worried that “the country was becoming a victim of political adventurism of self-styled and over-ambitious political pygmies dancing to the local and foreign dictation.”

Veteran party leader Ghulam Dastgir Khan asked Nawaz Sharif to guide party leadership to take some political line of action for reaching out to the people and become their voice under the present tough circumstances. He also asked as to who should lead the party from the front, adding that whether it should be Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz or Maryam Nawaz.

Nawaz asked the party leaders to convey his message to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to convene a meeting of senior party leaders to devise the future strategy and political line of action. He especially asked for bringing in the veteran leaders like Saranjam Khan, Chaudhry Sher Ali, Ghulam Dastgir Khan and other leaders of the party, who had led the party for a long time to shun their grievances and come forward to guide the nation during the present tough times. He said the patriotic leaders must make serious endeavours to pull the nation out of depression and march towards a prosperous future with a fresh hope. Nawaz Sharif said that veteran leaders should decide the modus operandi of the anti-government movement and also as to who should lead it from the front among Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz and Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

Sources told The News that the PML-N leadership is likely to launch the anti-government movement in phases, starting from public meetings at division level, than rallies and then finally sit-ins. Senior leaders like Ahsan Iqbal, Pervaiz Rasheed, Rana Mashhood and Talal Chaudhry were also among those who called on Nawaz Sharif. According to sources, Nawaz Sharif warned that if constitutional institutions overstepped their limits, the country’s security would be in serious jeopardy. He said all institutions must abide by their constitutional limits for strengthening national security.

He also told the party leadership that deteriorating economy would seriously jeopardise the very security of the country and it was time the government must take serious measures to improve economy. Pervaiz Rasheed said anybody working sincerely for the country would have to face punishment and Nawaz Sharif was facing the same.

Ahsan Iqbal said Nawaz Sharif should be allowed to go abroad for pursuing his medical treatment, since it was universal principle that the surgeon who had performed heart surgery on a patient should be the best to be consulted for future problems.

Rana Mashhood said the PML-N would launch a movement against the government and it would be in the interest of the PPP to join it. He said Asif Zardari should understand the need of the hour and the requirements of national interests. He said in the past Asif Zardari had refrained from implementing certain points of Charter of Democracy, but he must be practical under the prevailing circumstances.

Agencies add: Nawaz Sharif will be given a briefing on the nature of the agitation drive by the party leaders during their next meeting with him.

Pervaiz Rasheed said that leader of Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz and Maryam Nawaz is only Nawaz Sharif, adding that Shahbaz is a brave man as he already faced jails.

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