KASUR: Elections will be held on time, but the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would not let anyone “snatch the level playing field” this time in contrast to 2018 when “Nawaz Sharif was victimised during the run-up to elections”, Maryam Nawaz, the party’s vice president, said on Wednesday.

She was addressing a rally at Railway Station ground in Khudian, some 25 kilometres from here.

Khudian is the hometown of Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan, adviser to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“There will be no facilitators this time around and Nawaz Sharif will return home,” Maryam said, taking a dig at PTI chief Imran Khan.

She said Imran Khan had not only “drowned himself through his follies but had drowned his facilitators as well”.

Before the next elections, it was necessary to ascertain how Hamza Shehbaz was ousted from power.

Referring to the court decision on elections, the PML-N asserted it was cheating with the nation that a verdict of 3-4 was replaced by 2-3 (judges).

Without naming anybody, she advised the “facilitators” not to help Imran Khan as he had always let his helpers down.

She accused former chief justices Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khosa of hatching conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif. “Evidences are coming to the surface that Nawaz Sharif was punished for no fault of his.”

The PML-N leader alleged that Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi was one of the “facilitators of Imran Khan” and expressed regret that the case of Justice Shaukat Siddiqui, “who was forcibly used against us”, was still pending.

Alluding to Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Ms Nawaz said that the queues of people seeking justice from courts were longer than the queues for free flour.

“The government had Rs20 billion to hold general elections, but it did not have Rs60 billion for conducting elections thrice,” Ms Nawaz added.

She claimed that Imran Khan would not accept election results if he lost and there was no guarantee that he would not dissolve assemblies if he returned to power.

She said the PTI chief was avoiding the courts and making lame excuses. “He had put on a mask and when it was removed, a thief was found hidden under it.”

She alleged that Imran Khan used the Gilgit police to attack the Punjab police in Lahore, causing severe injuries.

She also said Imran Khan’s children were enjoying life in England whereas he had left the children of the poor to die on roads.

With a smile on her face, Ms Nawaz said a “donkey was transformed into zebra by drawing stripes on it by the facilitators”.

Arrangements

The district administration had made all arrangements, including security measures, for the public meeting of the ruling PML-N leader.

Over 1,000 policemen, besides officials of Rescue 1122, the health department and municipal committee, performed their duties at the venue. Sniffers were also arranged to check the venue for any potential risk.

According to general branch of DC office, no one from the organisers had submitted application to seek permission of the district administration for the rally of the PML-N.

According to Section 16 of ‘The Punjab Civil Administration Act 2017’, no public meeting, procession, assembly, or gathering shall take place without permission in writing of the deputy commissioner. Furthermore, on receipt of application for the purpose, the deputy commissioner in consultation with the head of district police, may grant permission subject to some terms and conditions as he deemed fit or reject the application after recording reasons.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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