LAHORE: Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz said on Wednesday had the PML-N allowed him, he would have resigned and joined the campaign for the by-elections.
He told a press conference after his meeting with South Punjab’s PPP president Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood at Model Town that some Punjab ministers resigned from their offices to join the electioneering for the PML-N candidates for 20 seats.
Highlighting the importance of the contest, he said he too could have join hands with them by resigning from his office as the election code of conduct barred the public office-holders from running the campaigns of any candidate. But, he said, his party didn’t allow him to resign and join the campaign.
Referring to the alliance between the PML-N and the PPP, Hamza said it was not for making a government but they had united for the national cause. He hoped that the alliance would win popularity from the people and the ruling coalition would achieve success on all 20 seats.
He said the ruling alliance would not do vindictive politics the way Imran Niazi did, after the victory and would jointly work to improve the national economy.
Criticising Usman Buzdar for failing to serve the masses, he said heaps of garbage would be found in the streets of Lahore and other Punjab towns during the past four years but cleanliness remained exemplary across the province on Eid (after he took over on April 16). He said havoc was played with the province in the name of Waseem Akram-plus as Farah Gogi and Ahsan Jameel looted Punjab ruthlessly.
He said he worked for the welfare of the masses even though his cabinet could not be formed for two months (for certain reasons). He said he chalked out a programme to provide subsidised flour and 100 units of electricity free to the masses for the first time in the history of the country.
He thanked PPP leaders Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for supporting his government and promised not to leave any stone unturned in making the people prosperous with the help of the allies.
“No single party can change the destiny of the country and we all have to work together. We will have to do away with hatred in order to take the country forward,” he said.
Former governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood said both the PPP and the PML-N gave a final shape to the strategy with regard to the July 17 by-elections and said the two parties had unanimity of views. He hoped for good results in the by-polls because of the joint strategy, particularly in South Punjab.
Endorsing Hamza’s views, he said a great amount of effort would be required to rectify the shortcomings created in the last four years in the country. “We developed a consensus that we have to think for the country by putting politics aside.”
Earlier, CM Hamza Shehbaz held a meeting with the former governor in which matters pertaining to mutual interest, current political situation and a joint by-poll strategy came under discussion.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khwaja Ahmad Hasaan, Khwaja Salman Rafique, Khwaja Imran Nazir, Syed Hassan Murtaza, Makhdoom Usman Ahmad and others were also present.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2022