Main Menu

Shahbaz: “If We Form a Majority, We’ll Take Opposition Along, Otherwise We’ll Play Constructive Role As Opposition”

This is the first time Shahbaz in his capacity as PML-N president has commented about winning or losing in candid terms.

Jun 6, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — PML-N party president Shahbaz Sharif has warned of serious consequences if the upcoming elections were not held in a transparent manner.

The twice elected CM Punjab was commenting on social media chatter on alleged role of certain powers in preventing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) from returning to power at the Center and in the largest province of the country whose electoral majority carries the sway on which party could form government.

“If free and fair elections are not held, the future (of the country) will be bleak,” he said, while responding to a question about the allegations that the PML-N may be prevented from forming a majority bloc, in one way or another, and form the next government. He was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday to list the achievements of his second five year stint in the government in Punjab.

Asad Umer, a senior politician in Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf who is pegged to become finance minister if they come to power, told Bloomberg the PML-N were fueling a conspiracy for political gain.

“That is the very sensible narrative from their point of view when you foresee a defeat coming,” he said by phone from Islamabad. “No one ever has given me some substance on this.”

Khan’s PTI is the the second-largest opposition party and main rival of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, headed by former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Shahbaz’s comments come as the country’s politicians are defecting in increasing numbers to the party of opposition leader and former cricket star Imran Khan, a shift that shows his rising influence and has prompted allegations he enjoys the support of the country’s establishment.

The intensified jockeying comes ahead of a national election on July 25. So far this year 248 politicians, including dozens of federal and provincial lawmakers, have changed sides — the most on record, according to the Free and Fair Election Network, an Islamabad-based watchdog. Of that 92 politicians have joined PTI.

Khan, whose anti-corruption campaign prompted the Supreme Court last year to disqualify and press criminal charges against former PM Nawaz Sharif, knows he needs to win over a large number of ‘electables’. The key province is Punjab, which is Sharif’s bastion.

“You need to have a critical mass of these defections, or several big-name defections, to have a real impact on the election,” said Michael Kugelman, a senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington to Bloomberg.

According to the report, “If Khan is elected he will face a U.S. that remains distrustful of Pakistan’s efforts to stamp out terrorism and continues to withhold billions of dollars in military aid. For Washington, a Khan victory would be an uneasy prospect. The 65-year-old is a staunch critic of the war in Afghanistan and U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.”

Responding to a question about the PML-N’s chances of winning the election, Shahbaz said, “If we form a majority, we will take the opposition along, otherwise we will play a constructive role from the opposition benches,” the local daily Dawn quoted him as saying.

This is the first time Shahbaz in his capacity as PML-N president has commented about winning or losing in candid terms.

Responding to another question about why his elder brother Nawaz Sharif and niece Maryam Nawaz had continued with the confrontational stance against other state institutions — the judiciary and army — Shahbaz said: “A country which has experienced four martial laws has institutions that are weak. I do not believe in clash of institutions. There should be no confrontation among them. How can we move forward if there is no harmony or consultation among institutions?”






One Comment to Shahbaz: “If We Form a Majority, We’ll Take Opposition Along, Otherwise We’ll Play Constructive Role As Opposition”

  1. […] Shahbaz: “If We Form a Majority, We’ll Take Opposition Along, Otherwise We’ll Play Con… […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: