PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah on Thursday "seconded" military spokesperson's rejection of speculation of any deals being cut with Nawaz Sharif, and made it clear that the party's self-exiled leader was not interested in becoming a part of any such dialogue.
Rumours of a deal gathered pace after former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said last month that he was going to London to bring back Sharif, who left the country in 2019 on medical grounds but never returned. The topic was subsequently discussed by federal ministers and even mentioned by the prime minister.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, in a press conference a day earlier, had addressed murmurs of the military establishment holding a dialogue with Sharif, to which he had said: "I will only say that all of this is baseless speculation."
Sanuallah, in his press conference in Lahore today, was asked to comment on the army spokesperson's remarks. "I second the DG ISPR's statement and also believe in it, and I pray to Allah that this matter, if [true], then it remains this way," he said. "We are not a part of any dialogue regarding any deal with any institution or the establishment.
Sanaullah said that Sharif neither wants to do any deal nor become a part of any such dialogues. "He (Sharif) has told us categorically on multiple occasions to strive for free and fair elections and [shape] our political narrative on the need for institutions' to remain within their boundaries. He has never asked anyone to be involved in such matters.
"In fact, in his latest directives for party leaders, he (Sharif) asked them either to not meet high officials of the establishment or do so only after informing the party. Other than happenstance, neither is anyone allowed to hold such meetings nor are they happening."
Sanaullah said Sharif would return to the country anytime as per his wish, adding that the party has advised him to first undergo complete medical treatment before flying back.
The PML-N leader said the party founder must also keep in mind that he would not be given justice, and "people are aware that he has been treated unfairly in different false cases."
Sanaullah also rejected rumours of Shehbaz Sharif's secret meetings in Rawalpindi. "He is neither a part of any deal or conspiracy and nor he will be," the party leader added.
'Only agencies have capacity to record private conversations'
In response to a question about the latest audio leak, purportedly of PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz and Pervez Rashid, Sanaullah said it was unethical to eavesdrop on private conversations as it was a crime.
He insisted that only agencies had the capacity to record phone calls, saying "most probably it could be Intelligence Bureau (IB)."
He claimed that government got the audio tape leaked with the intent that it would get benefit during the local government polls, adding that the attempt would go in vain.