LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has asked those seeking audit of the Feb 8 elections results to first apply this rule on the 2018 polls, and announced initiating a grand dialogue with all parties.

Addressing a ceremony on Sunday, senior PML-N leader Saad Rafique said, “Those who allege that the Feb 8 elections have been rigged and desire an audit of the election results must begin the exercise from the 2018 vote when RTS was manipulated.”

Without naming PTI, he said the party that failed to win a majority in the elections for forming a government has started levelling allegations of rigging.

“This party uses social media to indulge in blame games instead of taking recourse to legal platforms. We will fight this mindset through work, work and only work.”

Ayaz Sadiq hints at ‘grand dialogue’ with all parties

Mr Rafiq, who lost his contest for a National Assembly seat of Lahore, pointed out that he had congratulated the winning candidate after the polls as winning and losing is not important but ideology is.

He said PML-N had also suffered injustices in the past but did not change its ideology or path.

Referring to Imran Khan’s planned letter to the International Monetary Fund for seeking an independent audit of election results before continuing talks with Islamabad for loan, he alleged that the PTI founder had committed an offence against the homeland.

Lamenting Imran Khan’s mindset, he said PML-N was hoping that the atmosphere of prison would positively impact the ex-prime minister but, perhaps, all it had been misplaced.

The former railways minister said they would neither fight hatred with hatred nor use the language that PTI used in politics.

Speaking at the ceremony, MNA-elect Ayaz Sadiq said that PML-N neither wishes to take revenge from anyone nor does it believe in the idea of throwing political opponents behind the bars.

“We will rather try to create softness in hearts. We want to unite hearts for the sake of Pakistan. Saad Rafiq and I will reach out to the leader of each party to invite them for a grand dialogue in the larger interest of the country.”

Mr Sadiq said he would plead before the National Assembly speaker to make all parties sit together and expressed the hope that all parties would join hands for the sake of the country, which can no longer bear politics of polarisation.

“All possible steps will be taken to steer Pakistan out of its difficulties,” he pledged.

The former speaker said the maiden meeting of the National Assembly is to be held on Feb 29, adding that after the election of speaker and deputy speaker, Shehbaz Sharif would be elected to the office of prime minister.

He stressed that PML-N would do the politics of service.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2024

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