LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz on Saturday said that had there been any ‘deal’, her father would have been out of jail by now.
Talking to reporters after attending the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting, she claimed that she had received some messages from different quarters for a deal but requirements attached could not be accepted. Only a person like Imran Khan could accept such requirements, she said without elaborating what the requirements were. “The PML-N cannot stab democracy in the back,” she added.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif presided over the meeting in which it was decided to observe a black day on July 25 to condemn the PTI government which was formed in the wake of ‘rigged elections’ on this day last year.
The meeting also decided to hold public meetings in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar to lodge protest in this regard, arrest of the opposition leaders, especially the recent one of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former premier Nawaz Sharif’s imprisonment despite ‘confession’ of the accountability judge, unprecedented price hike, inflation and taxes, crumbling economy and media curbs. It also discussed replacement of the Senate chairman.
Responding to reports about ongoing ‘backdoor’ efforts to cut a deal with the Sharif family, Ms Maryam said in a tweet: “We did not strike a deal & did not take the ‘escape route’ even when we had everything to lose. My mother being on the deathbed to name one… For us it is not an option even with nothing at stake.”
On Friday after her appearance in the accountability court she said “Nawaz Sharif had rejected the offers for a deal by PM Khan since the conditions were unacceptable.”
Taking on Imran Khan, Ms Maryam further said ‘selected prime minister’ didn’t have capacity to represent Pakistan ‘alone’ in the United States, therefore, the army leadership had to go along with him.
“It is not clear whether the army leadership has taken Imran Khan along to the US in the capacity of selected prime minister. Imran Khan doesn’t capacity to represent the country alone in the US. The selected premier is in fact part of the Pakistani delegation. Had Imran Khan been elected prime minister he would have led the delegation,” she said.
Ms Maryam further said that unfortunately time had been over to train the selected premier to represent Pakistan alone in the world. “The world knows that there is no point to talk to the selected and puppet premier,” she said.
According to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are accompanying PM Khan to the US visit. He said Gen Bajwa will accompany Mr Khan during his visit to the White House on July 22 for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. The two military leaders would also have separate meetings with their counterparts at the US department of defence, Mr Qureshi said.
Reportedly this will be the first time that the country’s top generals will accompany a prime minister to a White House meeting with the US president.
The PML-N CEC meeting was also attended by Pervaiz Rashid, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Mushahidullah Khan, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Awais Leghari, Barjees Tahir, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Khurram Dastgir.
Ahsan Iqbal said the opposition had 67 votes in Senate and it would defeat all tactics of horse trading. “Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani would have resigned by now had the PTI government not been involved in horse trading,” he said and demanded forensic audit of the purported video of NAB chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the purported video of accountability judge (Arshad Malik) who confessed to have give verdict against Nawaz Sharif under pressure in Al-Azizia case had been found genuine. “After this Nawaz Sharif should be freed without any delay,” she demanded.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2019