On Saturday, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz debunked reports that PML-N National Assembly President and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif was considering going against his brother, PML-N Supreme Nawaz Sharif, saying that if he was disloyal, Shehbaz would have become prime minister, but “he rejected all offers”
Before leaving for Sindh, Maryam talked to the media at the Sharifs’ Jati Umra residence in Lahore, where the PPP invited her to attend a rally on the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto tomorrow. She will also address a PML-N workers’ convention in Sukkur later today prior to reaching Garhi Khuda Baksh in Larkana.
Instead of addressing her or other officials, the PML-N vice president was asked why Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) Secretary General Muhammad Ali Durrani called on Shehbaz in Kot Lakhpat jail to relay a message from party chief Sibghatullah Rashidi, best known as the Pir of Pagaro.
Maryam replied that the party had received many messages for talks, some from government officials, but after not receiving a response, “people were being sent” to meet the imprisoned chief for negotiations.
Maryam asked how Shehbaz was able to visit “such personalities” without any “issues or obstacles” in Kot Lakhpat jail when even his family was not permitted to see him. “This clears a lot of things,” she said.
“proven in the past and today that Shehbaz Sharif is very loyal to his brother and his party”proven in the past and today to be very loyal to his brother and his party.
“If he was not loyal, then there would be no need to bring this inefficient prime minister to power, [Shehbaz] would have been made prime minister. He has rejected all such offers and the proof of that is him and his son being in jail,” she continued.
After meeting Shehbaz in prison, Durrani told Dawn on Thursday that the PML-N leader was “asked to play his role in stopping the opposition from resigning from the assemblies as the move could wrap up the democratic system”
“There is a need to initiate a grand dialogue among the national institutions and politicians, make the parliament functional and gather all Muslim Leagues under one platform,” he said.
Shehbaz also “agreed to the proposal of Pir of Pagaro” Durrani said, but told him, “I cannot play any role as long as I am in jail.”
Maryam said that there was a discussion within the party and there were two views when asked whether Durrani’s meeting with Shehbaz was also tied to upcoming by-elections for the seats of the national and provincial assemblies.
“The overwhelming opinion is that we should not participate in the by-elections. We can sacrifice a few seats when we know this government is going,” she said, adding, however, that Maulana Fazl and the PDM will take the final decision on January 2.
“I believe Mian sahb (former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif) has made a very determined decision. [Pakistan Democratic Movement chief] Maulana Fazlur Rehman is very clear and all leaders of the PDM are very clear that no negotiations will be held with this fake government. These attempts [to negotiate] are so they [government] can get an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) from the PDM which they will not get.”I believe that a very determined decision has been made by Mian sahb (former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif). [Pakistan Democratic Movement chief] Maulana Fazlur Rehman is very clear and it is very clear to all PDM leaders that no negotiations with this fake government will be held.
Maryam said she had so far obtained 159 out of 160 resignations in the Punjab Assembly from PML-N lawmakers and one remained because the MPA concerned was hospitalised and put on a ventilator. She had also received resignations, she added, from 95 National Assembly (MNAs) members.
Referring to the recent controversy in which the NA Secretariat sent notices to two PML-N lawmakers, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Sajjad Awan, to affirm their resignations that they denied they had submitted to the NA speaker, Maryam said: “Nobody can expect Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Sajjad Awan to quit. They themselves are surprised how their resignations reached there.”
She said that by Dec 31, all party lawmakers had been instructed to send resignations to the leadership of the PML-N and then, if the PDM wanted to do so, the leadership of the party would apply the resignations to the NA speaker.
The vice president of the PML-N said those who were attempting to build rifts between members of the party would not be successful. “Even our members know the future is not PTI’s. They tried to do that with JUI-F and it backfired. People are very aware now and if you bring forward party dissidents and bring them into the mainstream, people understand it and it will not work.”
Charter of democracy
“very happy that I am going to Benazir Bhutto”very happy that I am going to Benazir Bhutto. “She gave her life bravely for this country. It is an honour for me to attend her anniversary.”
She said Benazir and Nawaz had changed history with the Charter of Democracy given to the government, and now she, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, and all PDM leaders will take it forward.
She also highlighted that while all parties had separate philosophies under the PDM’s banner, they were “all united for Pakistan”