Already having grim chances of getting two tickets of his choice, Sardar Ghulam Abbas, the most influential politician of Chakwal, took Nawaz Sharif’s recent interview as a chance to quit the PML-N.
At a press conference on Monday evening, Abbas announced that he could not defend Sharif during the election campaign due to his recent interview. “From today I have nothing to do with PML-N. We are leaving the party and from today our group is independent,” he added.
With his exit from the PML-N, the politics of Chakwal returned to its old course that was Sardar Group vs Anti-Sardar Group or PML-N.
In the interview published on May 12, former prime minister Sharif expressed his concern over what he alleged isolation of Pakistan on global front and said, “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?”
Abbas registered himself as the first politician to have left Sharif.
When asked what different thing Sharif had said than statements given by former national security adviser retired Major General Mahmud Ali Durrani and Rehman Malik, Abbas said: “I failed to understand two things given in the interview. First, he mentioned the court (trial) which is the responsibility of the government of Pakistan. India has not co-operated in this case and I am saying this after listening to Chaudhry Nisar. The present government has been in office for about five years. Why couldn’t it fulfil its responsibility?
The second thing is that phrase which begins from “should” (should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?). This means that you are declaring Pakistan a culprit.”
On the other hand, since Abbas joined the PML-N in September 2016, he faced severe opposition from three lawmakers – Tahir Iqbal, Sardar Mumtaz Tamman and Zulifqar Ali Dullah – as they opposed his inclusion in the party.
Now Abbas wanted to get two tickets: one for NA 64 and another for PP 23 while Tahir Iqbal and Zulifqar Ali Dullah are already candidates in these two constituencies.
A few days ago when Shahbaz Sharif visited the District Headquarters Hospital Chakwal, Abbas was not present at the ceremony which was attended by all local MPs. Furthermore, when a few weeks ago Nawaz Sharif addressed political leaders of Rawalpindi division in Islamabad, Abbas was also not present there.
When hopes to get the tickets faded, Abbas issued a video message to voters stating to contest the elections at any cost, be it as an independent.
Abbas was first elected to the Punjab Assembly in 1985. He was elected member of provincial assembly in 1993 under the banner of the PPP and made a minister. When Pervez Musharraf founded the PML-Q, Abbas joined the party and was twice elected as the district representative.
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