Imran can’t be allowed to browbeat institutions: Shehbaz

Published November 4, 2021
In this file photo, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif addressing a press conference on Nov 14, 2019. —M. Arif / White Star
In this file photo, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif addressing a press conference on Nov 14, 2019. —M. Arif / White Star

LAHORE: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s direction to his ministers to “support” their two cabinet colleagues summoned by the Election Commission of Pakistan is a “provocation to attack the ECP”.

“...He [Prime Minister Imran Khan] is targeting the ECP at a time of massive internal & external challenges,” Mr Shehbaz said in a tweet on Wednesday.

He said: “Imran Khan cannot be allowed to browbeat our institutions into submission.”

The PM earlier this week had expressed displeasure over ‘grilling’ of two federal ministers by the ECP and directed other leaders of the ruling PTI to stand by them on the issue.

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry quoted the premier as telling the core committee of the party that both the ministers (Fawad Chaudhry and Azam Swati) had not spoken about electoral reforms in their own interest, but on behalf of the whole government, and it was quite unfortunate that no other PTI leader was standing by them on the issue.

Earlier, on Oct 27, the ECP had given 15 more days to the two ministers to submit their replies to the show-cause notices issued to them for their “caustic” remarks and the serious allegations they had levelled against the commission and the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The ministers had been summoned by the ECP last week to explain their “slanderous” remarks a month after being served the notices.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with Owais Noorani of the JUP-Noorani, who called on him on Wednesday, Shehbaz said the PDM would become a “strong voice of the masses” in and outside the parliament against the unbridled inflation.

“The PDM will play a historic role under the leadership of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The public is facing extreme hardship because of unprecedented price hike and inflation,” he said and added the reason behind the inflation was the inept PTI government’s flawed policies and corruption.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2021

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