ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has refuted reports about existence of two narratives in the party and termed such reports part of the government’s planned campaign to divert people’s attention from real issues, including price hike, poverty, corruption and alleged rigging in the AJK elections.

“I want to say it in categorical terms that there is only one narrative in the PML-N which is Vote Ko Izzat Do (give respect to vote) and supremacy of law and constitution. This is the narrative of Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and all the voters and workers of the PML-N,” Ms Aurangzeb said at a news conference at National Press Club here on Wednesday.

This narrative, she said, had served the nation and the country for the past decades, the proof of which was evident in every part of the country.

Says PTI wants to divert public attention from price hike, AJK poll rigging

The PML-N information secretary announced that the party would publish a white paper titled “Corruption Paper” Aug 17 on completion of three years of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.

In an apparent reference to recent statements made by some federal ministers, including Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, claiming that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif are pursuing different narratives, Ms Aurangzeb said such reports were being fed to the media by the government people immediately after “theft” of the July 25 elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

There has been a debate in the media for the past many weeks with a number of analysts claiming that there are two camps in the PML-N -- one comprising the members supporting reconciliatory approach of party president Shehbaz Sharif and the other consisting of some hardliners endorsing the anti-establishment stance of the party’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif.

Ms Aurangzeb, however, said the PTI government had created a hoax of a split within the PML-N ranks to divert attention from the rigging in AJK and the Sialkot by-poll, adding that all such theories were nothing but a product of their wishful thinking, because “the PML-N had and will continue to have a singular, cohesive, united narrative that binds every single one of its leaders, members, workers, voters and supporters together under one ideology”.

She said the nation was still suffering the consequences of the 2018 election rigging and the RTS fiasco. Alleging rigging in the AJK polls, she said how could it be that the party that bagged 600,000 votes got 26 seats, the party that got 400,000 votes acquired 11 seats and the party that secured 500,000 votes got only five seats.

She said the PML-N would hold press conferences on daily basis to expose “failures” of the government.

“This government knows nothing other than planning to rob people of their sugar, wheat, flour, electricity, gas and medicines to collect money to buy elections. This hoopla about the split in the PML-N has always been a tool of distraction from these sinister activities of the PTI and whenever the government plans to flout the constitution,” she said.

She dared the PTI government to talk about the state of inflation in the country instead of such “cooked up stories”.

She said that those who planned to frame Nawaz Sharif in corruption ended up paying Rs35 billion to Broadsheet but there was nobody to answer for this.

She said the government tried to create rumours about the split in the PML-N because the PTI’s false narrative of corruption had been buried despite historic political victimisation, keeping opposition leaders in “death cells”, disrespecting and harassing their families and tampering with records.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2021

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