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RAWALPINDI: PML-N workers will gather outside the accountability court today (Monday) to welcome former prime minister Nawaz Sharif before the court announces the verdict in the Azizia Steel Mills reference.

The party has told local leaders across the district to bring people to Islamabad to welcome Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz. In a meeting chaired by PML-N metropolitan president Sardar Naseem, local leaders were told that it was the duty of office-bearers to welcome Sharif.

A senior party leader told Dawn that all of the party’s candidates in the 2018 elections were asked to bring the maximum number of people, and targets were fixed for MNAs and MPAs.

“Local leaders and former candidates across the district have been asked to remain in touch with people in their constituencies for the preparation of a new strategy after the court’s verdict,” he said.

Many workers want to know about the future of the party, senior party leader says

Party chapters from all four districts in the Rawalpindi division will bring people to Islamabad, while party workers have been asked to remain in Islamabad from Sunday night to prevent any police action.

“Many workers and local leaders wanted to know about the future of the party, and they were informed to remain patient and wait a day after the verdict,” he said.

Local party leaders have ended their differences and been asked to unite for the party’s supreme leader, he said, adding that there were some differences between local leaders, who blamed each other for not bringing more people to hearings.

They have also been asked to visit door-to-door and tell people about the PTI government’s inability to bring the country out of crisis.

When contacted, Sardar Naseem confirmed that party workers have been asked to welcome Sharif at the accountability court. He said he, along with union council chairmen and vice chairmen, will go to Islamabad at 8:30am.

Workers from Rawalpindi and Islamabad will reach the court on their own in the form of rallies.

Workers have arranged private vehicles to go to Islamabad, he said, adding that union council chairmen and vice chairmen will control party workers from their respective areas.

Mr Naseem insisted that it was not the party’s call to bring people, but that all workers and local party leaders wanted to go to court to hear the decision and welcome Sharif, who had faced political victimisation.

He added that party workers were not afraid of the PTI government’s political victimisation, and that the government’s days were numbered as it had failed to deliver.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2018