Shahbaz in favour of politicos meeting

Published July 11, 2014
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.—File photo
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.—File photo

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif admits the need for inviting all political forces to negotiation table for a joint democratic agenda.

“Political acumen demands that all the political forces should be invited to sit together for a joint democratic agenda aimed at serving the masses,” he said when asked if he saw the need for trying this option for cooling down the political temperature heightened by threats of long march and sit-in by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, respectively.

Shahbaz, who is also provincial chief of the ruling PML-N, opposed the politics of long marches and sit-ins and said the country needed only the long march of prosperity of the masses and development of the country.


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Such a long march, he recalled, had been taken out (by Mao Zedong) in China for the development of the country.


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He believed that the people would not allow such a sit-in or long march that could shatter their dreams of prosperity.

Mr Sharif along with Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal was speaking at a press conference on their return from China where they held talks for finalising the much-trumpeted Pak-China Economic Corridor.

The chief minister said how the elements which ‘built minarets of corruption’ and plundered Rs70 billion from the Bank of Punjab while in power were now talking of revolution, a reference to the PML-Q leadership.

Referring to the Canadian citizenship of Dr Tahirul Qadri, he said those who had so far been enjoying the cool breeze instead of coming to the rescue of people during floods and dengue outbreak were now talking of revolution and sit-in.

“Against whom they want to stage this long march and sit-in?” he asked. “Have I been found involved in any corruption?”

Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal denied PTI chief’s rigging claims, arguing that all international observers had termed the 2013 polls the most credible electoral exercise in country’s history.


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He was responding to a query about Imran Khan’s offer of postponing his long march provided the government agreed to his demand of verifying thumb impressions of voters in four National Assembly constituencies.

The minister also negated PTI’s claim that the tally of rejected votes in the 2013 election was the highest in Pakistan’s electoral history. “In fact, the most votes were rejected in 2008 polls.”

Mr Iqbal said the PTI could not secure more than five extra seats if all these rejected votes were counted in favour of the PTI nominees.

About the allegation of delay in deciding election petitions, he said two-thirds of the petitions filed by PTI nominees had been adjudicated.

He counselled Imran to devote his time to the service of IDPs instead of the so-called tsunami, saying it is time to jointly take care of the displaced persons instead of doing petty politics.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014

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