LONDON: PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif observed on Thursday that political discourse in Pakistan had descended to hitherto unknown depths, adding that he had never seen “the kind of environment which has been created by Imran and the PTI”.

In a meeting with PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who called on the elder Sharif at his son Hussain’s offices in Stanhope House, the PML-N leader thanked Bilawal for his visit, saying the two would meet again today (Friday).

The two met ostensibly to discuss the success of the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, as well as the ongoing political situation in the country where a coalition government consisting of parties that were previously on the opposition benches were currently in power.

“We have removed Imran Khan, but the damage he has done to the country, we [political allies] have to work together to tackle them,” Bilawal told reporters ahead of his meeting with Nawaz.

PPP chief meets PML-N supremo in London; says plot to oust Imran hatched in Bilawal House, not White House

Addressing a question about Imran Khan’s claim about a foreign conspiracy around his ouster, Bilawal said: “This [Imran’s removal] was not a White House conspiracy, it was Bilawal House conspiracy.”

In a press talk after their interaction, Bilawal said the PPP and PML-N had once again “created history” with their recent success in the no-confidence motion against ousted prime minister Imran Khan.

He said whereas prime ministers were previously removed through undemocratic means, Imran was removed through a constitutional, parliamentary and democratic manner.

“Pakistan is at a crossroads. We can either go towards the revival of democracy ... or we can go in reverse gear and repeat the same mistakes,” he said.

Mr Sharif rued the economic situation of the country and the plight of the rupee against the dollar. He said it would take a lot of time to stabilise the economy and it was not an easy task.

He termed the previous government’s tenure as among the “blackest” in the country’s history and blasted Imran for his “U-turns”.

The PML-N supremo said all the parties of the country, from all the provinces would have to play their role to together take the country out of the crisis-like situation.

Ending the press conference, Nawaz termed Khan’s claim of being removed through a foreign conspiracy a “great big lie”.

The PPP delegation included party representatives Sherry Rehman, Naveed Qamar and Qamar Zaman Kaira, while Mr Sharif was joined by former finance minister Ishaq Dar, Abid Sher Ali, Hussain Nawaz and other PML-N representatives in London.

Newly-appointed finance minister Miftah Ismail also made a pit stop in London to meet Nawaz Sharif en route to Washington DC, where he is expected to hold talks with IMF officials.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2022

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