Nawaz spells out plan for coalition govt ‘on PDM pattern’

Published February 10, 2024
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif makes a so-called ‘victory speech’ in Lahore on Feb 9. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif makes a so-called ‘victory speech’ in Lahore on Feb 9. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Friday made a so-called ‘victory speech’ and annou­nced forming a coalition government on the previous PDM pattern to steer the country out of crises.

Mr Sharif hinted at joining hands with the PPP, JUI-F, MQM, PML-Q and IPP to forge a PDM (Pakistan Democratic Move­ment) style alliance, but did not make any claim to reach out to the PTI-backed independent candidates to take them on board.

His relative, Ishaq Dar, however claimed that the party had the intention to have the independents onboard to form the government both in the Centre and Punjab.

Interestingly, Nawaz Sharif declared the PML-N the ‘single largest party’ that emerged in the Centre and Punjab in the polls. He along with Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz made the so-cal­led victory speech at the party headquarters in Model Town at the time when the Election Com­mission of Pakistan (ECP) decla­red that the PML-N had won only 64 national assembly seats of total 265 on Friday.

Mr Sharif mandated his younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, to immediately establish contacts with the PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari, the JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the MQM’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to forge an alliance in the Centre.

However, he did not name any PTI’s leader in this regard. Before Nawaz Sharif’s speech, the PML-N’s Atta Tarar had lashed out at PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, saying he had told him (Bilawal) to pack up as a Nawaz’ worker would defeat him. Tarar has clinched victory against Bilawal in NA-127.

Asks Shehbaz to contact PPP, JUI-F, MQM for alliance; Abbasi advises against forming govt, says 60-seat victory doesn’t suit Nawaz

Without naming PTI founder leader Imran Khan, Nawaz said: “Some people are in a mood to fight but Pakistan cannot afford this as it needs stability for at least 10 years. This is not our responsibility alone as everyone, including the institutions, should play its role for the betterment of the country.”

Justifying his victory speech a day after the polls, Nawaz said he wanted to make the speech on Thursday night but by that time only 10 to 12pc results were announced.

On Thursday night, Mr Sharif had left for Jati Umra amid reports of his party’s ‘poor performance’ in its heartland of Punjab.

Abbasi’s skepticism

Speaking to Dawn in London a day after polling, former PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said it would be bad advice for Nawaz Sharif to form a government.

“This 60-seat victory doesn’t suit the struggle of Mian Sahib or his democratic credentials of the last so many years. He will not be able to run a government without moral authority. This ‘victory’ doesn’t suit him.”

Mr Abbasi said the results had changed overnight in favour of the PML-N and it was a repeat of what had happened to his (PML-N) party in 2018.

“This is why I stayed away from this election. I realized six months ago that the PML-N would come to power under these circumstances. I don’t agree with keeping Imran Khan out of politics, even if I don’t agree with his politics.”

The former prime minister was all praise for the PTI-backed independents, saying they had pulled off a stunning upset, given that “they were not allowed to campaign and there was virtually no sign of them in most constituencies”.

“My friends in the PML-N in the Rawalpindi division admitted on Friday night that the election has slipped out of their hands. But today we see the results are different.”

Atika Rehman in London also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2024

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