PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz is addressing the public meeting in Daska.—Dawn
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz is addressing the public meeting in Daska.—Dawn

SIALKOT / LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice-president Maryam Nawaz said on Saturday that her party’s struggle to send the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government packing with the power of the people was in its final stage.

Giving a ‘wake-up call’ to the people, she said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would start a march towards Islamabad on March 26 to rid the people of “incompetent rulers”.

Addressing a public meeting in Daska, Ms Nawaz said the PML-N had deep and strong roots in the masses and no one could eliminate it. Particularly, the people of Punjab were recalling the rule of Shehbaz Sharif as they had been disappointed in the PTI government, she added.

She said that the people had rejected the PTI’s negative politics of confrontation. “The days of the rulers are numbered as the people have stood up for their rights and for the respect of the vote.”

She said that the rulers were isolated as they had left the people at the mercy of skyrocketing price hike, unemployment and poverty.

Says PDM is exposing double standard of PM over Senate vote issue

She said that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif were fighting for the respect of vote and basic rights of the people who had been deprived of everything.

She accused the government of stopping development works across Punjab and said that they had done so to punish the people of the province for not voting for the PTI.

She said that the rulers had snatched loaf of bread from the poor people who were dying of poverty, unemployment, hunger and price hike due to failed economic policies of the government.

She asked the people of Daska to vote for the PML-N in the by-election on Feb 19.

Earlier, talking to reporters in Lahore before leaving for Daska, Ms Nawaz said that the PDM was not in favour of secret ballot in Senate elections per se, but was only exposing double standards of (Prime Minister) Imran Khan. “When it helps him to steal Senate votes (during the chairman election), secrecy is fine for him. But when he fears his party’s lawmakers will not vote according to the party line, his choice changes.”

She said that after the removal of the PTI government, the real representives of the people would pass the open ballot law. “The PDM, as a principle, supports open balloting in the Senate elections.”

Talking about the recent statement of the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relation that the army neither interfered in politics nor was it in touch with political parties, and those making such claims must come out with proof, Ms Nawaz said that the director-general was a respectable man but he should make credible claims only. “Even the recent past is replete with evidence and proof. Is what was said by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui not enough? Is the confession of judge Arshad Malik not enough? Is treatment meted out to Justice Qazi Faez Isa not proof? Is stealing of general elections in 2018 and installing a person, who had not even run a union council, as prime minister not proof?” she asked.

Answering a question about the recent decision of the Supreme Court, asking Justice Isa to abstain from the cases involving Prime Minister Khan, she said that was what the PML-N was out to prove: how law and its definition changed from person to person. “When Nawaz Sharif was in the dock, the interpretation of the principle of conflict of interest was opposite to what is being said now. The remarks and behavior of the judges were different from what is being said and done now. This is what the PML-N is fighting against: double meaning of law and double standards of those who execute it.”

She disagreed with a question that PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had changed his earlier stance when he said that the opposition alliance was not fighting the establishment but Imran Khan. She insisted that the Maulana had said nothing to that effect.

Talking about the possible results of the by-election in Daska, Ms Nawaz said: “When votes speak no one can defeat the PML-N. Nawaz Sharif’s narrative now rules the people’s heart. This is why the state institutions, despite their active and dirty efforts, have not been able to break the party.”

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2021

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