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PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. — File photo by AFP

LAHORE: The PML-N has termed the slogans of accountability and reforms a plot to delay general elections and vowed to thwart the conspiracy.

“An attempt is being made to get the elections postponed under the cover of slogans for (electoral) reforms and accountability (of politicians),” Nawaz Sharif was quoted as having said at a meeting of PML-N elders held at his Raiwind residence on Wednesday.

“All such attempts will be foiled because the nation is going to get an opportunity within weeks to change a government through the ballot for the first time in 65 years of the country’s history.”

After a detailed discussion with his colleagues on the possible impact of the march on Islamabad planned by Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran’s Dr Tahirul Qadri and MQM chief Altaf Hussain, the PML-N chief declared that no obstruction would be created for the march which would start from Lahore on Jan 14.

“If workers of the Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran do not disrupt law and order they should be given a free hand for the long march for electoral reforms.”

But Mr Sharif said he believed that at a time when elections were just weeks away the politics of marches could only promote the agenda of ‘undemocratic forces’, instead of initiating any reform.

Warning that the country could not afford any uncertainty (on political front) in the current situation, the former prime minister suggested the announcement of election schedule as soon as possible to reinforce people’s trust in the democratic electoral system.

He hoped that all institutions would remain within their ‘constitutional bounds’ and play only their ‘lawful’ roles. Otherwise, “people will be forced to believe that an attempt is being made to rob them of the chance of getting through the ballot a good government which is a true representative of public aspirations”.

The PML-N chief said the nation was ready for a peaceful but democratic change and those bent upon derailing the system by undemocratic means could not be well-wishers of the country.

Mr Sharif said the nation was well aware of the forces backing “the marchers” who had been close aides of dictators.