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ISLAMABAD: After consulting the party supremo Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Monday decided to participate in the upcoming Senate elections. The PML-N which was reluctant to participate in the Senate polls, took the decision in a meeting of the party’s parliamentary committee chaired by Maryam Nawaz.

Addressing the PML-N joint parliamentary party meeting of the Senate and National Assembly, she said that the PML-N will continue to play its role in the parliament and the government will be given a tough time on national and public issues.

She said that the decision of resignations would be taken by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and all the parties would be bound to accept it.

“No more talks with the government and we will play our due role both inside and outside the parliament to expose the government,” Maryam was quoted as saying.

She congratulated the PML-N members for their steadfastness, saying no one can dare scare the “lions of the PML-N,” adding Nawaz Sharif’s message to participate in the Senate polls was approved by the parliamentary committee.

Later, talking to journalists outside the Parliament House, Maryam said that the party stands committed and united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

“The support and resolve for the narrative of Nawaz Sharif were phenomenal. This is new, ideological PML-N,” she added.

To a question, she contended there is no second opinion about the long march against the government, the option of resignation from assemblies will also come, and removal of the “selected regime” is also written on the wall.

About the no confidence motion, she said that the party would give its response once the issue is taken up by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in its meeting on February 4, adding Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has stated that he would place the proposal before the PDM leadership.

She said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Law should not be changed as the opposition had its share of the “political victimisation”, as now it was the turn of the government to “taste” the NAB’s highhandedness.

She ruled out any differences within the PDM, saying it was just wishful thinking of those who tried their level best to break the PML-N and the PDM, but their dreams of doing had so badly shattered.

“The year 2021 is the year of elections in the country and the end of the “selected regime,” she added.

The joint parliamentary party meeting also passed a resolution, strongly protesting against the latest wave of inflation in the country.

The meeting pointed out that there is a massive difference between the prices of essential edible items during the PML-N government’s tenure and that of the PTI government’s.

In the time of the PML-N, a kilogram of sugar was Rs55 which has crossed Rs100 today, similarly, the price of edible ghee was Rs140 to 170 per kg which today has reached Rs255 to 270. The price of edible oil was Rs150 which today is Rs240 per liter.

20kg flour was Rs620 which is being sold at Rs1,400 today.

One kg of lentil was 65 rupees, daal maash 180 rupees, daal moong 75 rupees, daal masoor 65 rupees which is being sold today at 145, 280, 140, and 120 rupees per kg respectively.

Beans have gone up from Rs80 to Rs155, red chillies from Rs630 to Rs1,000, turmeric from Rs900 to Rs1,400 per kg while rice sold at Rs55–Rs85 has gone up to Rs95–Rs140 per kg today.

The session declared that the “imposed government” had become a “symbol of catastrophe” which was committed to the “agenda of demolition” of the national economy.

They pointed out that business and employment had collapsed and now the process of destruction of institutions was underway.

While at one end, national assets were being confiscated, on the other hand, Pakistan’s image was being defiled in the international arena.

The meeting expressed grave concern over the economic condition of the country.

The meeting expressed concern at the country's growing debt of Rs14,000 billion, and termed the recent decision to borrow more a recipe for “disastrous national suicide”.

They feared that national assets were being handed over to lenders for pennies.

They held the view that this destruction of Pakistan’s assets in the name of privatisation was tantamount to playing with fire, and jeopardising national security and sovereignty.

They mentioned that the closure of the PIA flights by Europe, the United States, Malaysia and China, and now by the United Nations, the seizure of its assets and the suspension of flight operations were a fruit of the PTI government’s extremely irresponsible and false statements making the pilots' degrees controversial.

The meeting expressed grave concern over reports of non-recognition of Pakistan's “Sovereign Guarantee,” calling it a sign of economic bankruptcy.

They observed that the situation was further worsened by criminal delays in LNG import and reckless actions of the government in the gas sector. The confrontation with the provinces on this issue was another aspect, which, instead of trying to resolve it in a timely and constitutional framework, had been compromised by the federation and the people of Pakistan and the industrial sector were being punished.

The meeting slammed the announcement to cut off gas supplies to industrial sectors, terming it tantamount to stabbing the economy.

The PML-N demanded a reversal of this announced measure.

The PML-N pointed out that the appointments of retired and in-service military officers in the institutions within Pakistan are practically painting a picture of martial law in the country, due to which the civil bureaucracy was suffering from severe uneasiness and anxiety.

Many questions are being raised.

This situation is also seriously making the reputation of the military questionable and will lead to further widening of the gap between the civilians and the military.

The meeting also expresses concern and alarm that Pakistan has relegated its case on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to cold storage, which is a manifestation of the historic failure of the “imposed, catastrophic” PTI government to defend and implement national foreign policy.

The moot saw the foreign funding case as concrete evidence of the current government “taking money from Pakistan's enemies,” saying it is also an “open and shut case” of money laundering.

They pointed out that the Election Commission has been obstructing the disclosure of the facts of this case for six years, which is regrettable, worrying, and reprehensible.

They also demanded that the details obtained through the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should be made public too, so that the nation knows which country and which person has provided huge amount of money to PM Imran Khan.

The meeting demanded that cases of theft of foreign funding, 23 secret accounts, Malam Jabba, helicopter case, BRT, Billion Tree Tsunami, flour, sugar be heard on a daily basis and decisions be given on all these cases.

The meeting also regretted that no action is being taken against Asim Saleem Bajwa, the head of the CPEC Authority, despite the most serious allegations and “irrefutable evidence” against him.

The meeting strongly condemned the CPEC Authority Bill and its immunity.

They stressed that a person facing controversy and allegations of corruption should not be the head of a sensitive project such as CPEC as it was against national interest.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021