LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the party cadre to stand their ground in case of pressure for changing their political loyalties.
He was speaking from London through video link at a meeting of Sargodha division leaders of the PML-N held here on Wednesday. Maryam Nawaz, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sana, Awais Leghari and Ayaz Sadiq also spoke.
“Promise to yourself that you will not be swayed if someone attempts to change your loyalties. None may bend you if you take a stand,” said Mr Sharif who recalled the pressure tactics, including implicating him in a hijacking case, employed to dent his resolve and resistance against his ouster from the power corridor.
“Stick to your principles and ideology and don’t compromise on your honour.”
PML-N quaid, Maryam hit out at the establishment
Referring to repeated interference in politics by the establishment, he said that elected prime ministers were hanged, exiled and arrested by those who would go beyond their constitutional limits and had no role in active politics.
The former premier said there was a time when Indian prime minister Vajpayee would come to Pakistan and acknowledge its existence and stance (on various issues) while standing at Minar-i-Pakistan. But, now no one was ready to listen to Pakistani leader’s phone calls or offer Islamabad a seat in the UN Security Council, he added.
He lamented that Islamabad didn’t have enough votes even to convene a meeting of the council on Kashmir when New Delhi abolished special status of the held Valley.
About the win of the PTI on some seats in the recently held Cantonment board elections, the PML-N supremo wondered who had been voting for the ruling party. He said those who had changed allegiances 10 times were accepted into the folds of the PTI.
Maryam Nawaz claimed the Cantonment board seats the party lost was because the PML-N activists were competing against each other. She said despite internal rifts and alleged rigging the party won in the Cantonment polls and also bagged 500,000 votes in the Azad Kashmir election. She said even those who rigged the polls were surprised to see the PML-N vote-bank.
She urged the (state) institutions not to stand between the masses and the rulers whose performance was making the people sick of them.
Ahsan Iqbal directed the party cadre to select five activists under 35 years for each polling station and also include women in the party organisation.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the party always needed sincere workers and they should be brought forward as this would also increase connectivity of local leaders in the constituency.
Rana Sanaullah said none should be confused with the narrative of the party and called for unity among the party ranks to win on all fronts.
Former National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq stressed the need to strengthen the party at grassroots level and disclosed that an android application was being developed to remain in contact with the party cadre across the country.
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2021