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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former premier, Nawaz Sharif on Thursday, asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down immediately after his party candidate Hafeez Shaikh met defeat in the Senate election against opposition’s joint candidate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

He was addressing the party’s general council meeting which was attended by senior leadership including vice president Maryam Nawaz, besides members and workers from across the country.

However, party president Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Hamza Shehbaz, were not in attendance.

Nawaz Sharif, in his address, congratulated the PDM’s joint candidate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani for winning against the government’s candidate Hafeez Shaikh in Wednesday’s Senate polls.

“Gilani’s winning of the Senate seat is manifestation of the fact that Imran Khan and his government, has lost the majority in the present house. Whatever they want to do whether vote of confidence or anything else, they have lost in the field from Balochistan to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, to Punjab and Sindh, and they have also lost in the house as well as among the masses,” he said.

Urging Prime Minister Khan to quit immediately, he stated: “I understand that Imran Khan lost his moral ground to remain in power anymore and he should quit immediately.”

He said that the government had failed to resolve the problems of the people, adding, “the elected government which came into power through rigging, repeated the 2018-like tactics in the recent Daska by-polls.”

He claimed that the entire nation knew that 2018 general elections were rigged and imposed an “incompetent” person on the country by “these violators of the constitutional”.

Nawaz also congratulated Hamza on his release on bail, and also commended him for his loyalty with the party, despite immense pressure and “injustices”.

Maryam Nawaz, in her address, said that the credit for the current political landscape should be given to her father and former premier Nawaz Sharif for his “bold” narrative.

“It was Nawaz Sharif who through his ‘bold’ stance changed the political landscape of the country and proved to be a ‘trendsetter’,” she claimed.

She mocked the government following PTI’s candidate Hafeez Shaikh defeat against the opposition’s joint candidate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of the PPP, saying that those who were trying to break up the PML-N are themselves disintegrating.

She also thanked the party’s lawmakers for voting for Gilani, saying the party members by following Nawaz Sharif’s narrative, acted upon the party’s supremo’s directives and voted for Gilani.

She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan knew that their candidate would be met with defeat in the Senate elections.

“Because he [PM Khan] knew that he would be defeated in the polls, he tried to promulgate an ordinance and tried to drag the Supreme Court when it came to the Senate polls,” she maintained.

Responding to Prime Minister Khan and his ministers allegations following Hafeez Shaikh’s defeat, she recalled the election of Senate chairman between Sadiq Sanjrani and Hasil Khan Bizenjo.

“Where was democracy sleeping when you and your selectors rigged the Senate elections a few years ago when Bizenjo tried to become the Senate chairman,” she asked, adding that despite opposition’s clear majority in the house, Bizenjo lost.

About Prime Minister Khan’s decision to seek vote of confidence from the National Assembly, she mocked him by saying that how he could seek a vote of confidence from his own people after accusing them of selling out their votes.

“Where would you secure the vote of confidence of the people, who defeated you in the recent by-elections,” Maryam Nawaz further questioned the premier.

“What did you think that the PML-N and Nawaz Sharif are without God? Didn’t you think about karma?” she asked.

Responding further to the allegations about horse-trading in the Senate polls, Maryam mocked the government by asking whether the recent by-elections were also rigged or not in which the PTI won only one seat.

Maryam further asked the prime minister not to accuse his lawmakers of selling their votes out in the Senate polls, adding his own members knew that it was the last time Imran Khan had gotten elected to power.

“You and your MNAs and MPAs know it very well that you have no future and you have no party,” she maintained.

Commending her party members, she stated that people have been saying that Nawaz Sharif’s narrative is too heavy to carry.

“The weight of Nawaz Sharif’s narrative is being carried by the PML-N workers and the members,” he said, adding that now the people of the country are also accepting his slogan “Vote Ko Izzat Do”.

She congratulated the PML-N lawmakers, saying that “nobody” succeeded in scaring and breaking them.

She claimed that whenever the next polls are held, the PML-N will sweep across the country.

Maryam Nawaz also called party leader Pervez Rashid to join her at the stage, saying that that injustice was done with Pervez Rashid, after his nomination was rejected for contesting the Senate election, adding that the entire party stands by him.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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