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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal, on Thursday, denied any rift within the party’s ranks, saying that party president Shehbaz Sharif has not extended any invitation to the PPP and the ANP to rejoin the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Speaking at a news conference along with senior party leaders including Khurram Dastagir and Marriyum Aurangzeb, the PML-N secretary-general said that the Pakistan People’s (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) have the right to take decisions for themselves with regard to parting ways with the PDM.

“So far, I haven’t heard any statement from party president Shehbaz Sharif, any other PML-N leader or its spokesperson to have extended any invitation to PPP and ANP to rejoin the PDM,” he maintained, adding that the media debate in this regard was based on “speculations”.

He said that the PDM’s leadership-level meeting would be held on May 29, in which it would announce its future course of action.

He said that the PDM is a platform of the opposition political parties of both having representation in the parliament and those out of the parliament.

He asserted that the PML-N was united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, denying any rift within the party’s ranks.

Ahsan’s statement comes following a recent dinner reception hosted by the PML-N president and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif for parliamentary leaders of the opposition parties, including PPP and ANP, in which he had also invited the two parties to rejoin the PDM for a more effective anti-government movement.

It was followed by media statements by PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz and senior party leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who opposed rejoining of the PPP and ANP into the PDM without responding the earlier show-cause notice, issued to both the parties. Ahsan Iqbal also spoke about the Yaum-e-Takbir to be marked today (Friday) in memory of Pakistan’s conducting nuclear tests on 28 May 1998 when Nawaz Sharif was the then prime minister. He maintained that Nawaz Sharif by allowing the six nuclear tests made Pakistan the world’s seventh nuclear power.

He claimed that Nawaz Sharif was being punished for giving the nuclear power to the country as well as bringing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to the country. He also lashed out at the PTI government, adding that the destination of the nuclear Pakistan was not the “begging bowl” but a vibrant and a digitalised Pakistan.

“Despite all the conspiracies, today Nawaz Shairf’s narrative has become the narrative of every Pakistani and we will soon be marking restoration of a “true democracy” in the country,” he maintained.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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