LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said those who were ‘forced’ to leave the PML-N because of political engineering are now returning to the party folds.
He was speaking at an organisational meeting of the party held at its provincial headquarters here in Model Town via video link from London on Friday.
“Those joining the party were our party members as they were forced to change their loyalties through political engineering before the 2018 polls,” the PML-N Quaid told the participants in the meeting where Aleesha Iftikhar Baloch from Jhang (NA-114), Asif Mauvia from NA-116 and Akbar Ali Shah announced joining the party.
Nawaz said when “political engineering” failed they (a reference to the establishment) had to shut the RTS (result transmission system) to win the election.
The PML-N often claims that prior to 2018 elections, dozens of its “electables” from Punjab were forced by the powers that be to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
He directed PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah to complete the party’s reorganisation in the province by Dec 20.
“There should be another meeting on the party reorganisation (in Lahore) on Dec 27 in which a complete report in this regard should be presented,” he said and added once the process would be completed, the PML-N would be invincible (in Punjab).
The former premier, who has been living in the UK since November 2019 because of his ‘medical treatment’, said the PML-N wanted to bring the country back to the road to progress.
“In the PTI regime, Pakistan’s economy is fast declining while in our [PML-N] tenure it was progressing. The people were hoping against hope that this inept government might deliver at some point of time but it miserably failed on all fronts,” he said and chided the Imran Khan government for bringing the country to “the brink of economic disaster”.
The people were suffering immensely because of the skyrocketing prices of flour, pulses, sugar and medicines, he lamented.
Nawaz said the PML-N government had said goodbye to the IMF, while the PTI pledged the country’s assets. The incumbent government also weakened the rupee and failed to get the country off the grey list, he added.
Reiterating the party’s stance, Nawaz said: “We all have to follow the narrative of giving respect to the vote. “We need to stay strong and should not be afraid of speaking the truth.”
Awais Leghari, Azma Bokhari, Hanif Abbasi, Nadeem Kamran, Saud Majid, Abdur Rehman Kanju and Sheikh Aftab were also present.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2021