Ahead of the joint opposition’s proposed protest drive, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has revealed its main demand, saying that it is ready to work with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, provided Prime Minister Imran Khan is replaced with someone else from the ruling party.
Since the leadership of main opposition parties – the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – joined hands in Islamabad on last Sunday against the Imran Khan government and announced holding a multi-party conference to chalk out its protest strategy after Eid next month, the PML-N has come up with a proposition for the establishment to get rid of Prime Minister Khan: working with the “government (without Khan) for revival of the economy”.
“We ask the powerful people (a reference to the military establishment) to get rid of incompetent (prime minister) Imran Khan and bring someone else to replace him. In the presence of this inept prime minister the country cannot move forward,” PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah declared.
Speaking with reporters after his meeting with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat jail, the PML-N firebrand said the opposition had no objection if the PTI chose a new candidate to replace Prime Minister Khan.
“The PTI government may be retained, but the inept premier should be replaced forthwith for the people and the economy of this country,” he said, and added that the demand is for the betterment of the economy and the poor.
Sanaullah, who is considered a close aide to Sharif, warned that if this demand is not met, the PTI would solely be responsible for the “destruction”.
“(In such a scenario), the minimum demand (of the opposition) will be mid-term polls,” he said.
Former prime minister and PML-N vice-president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi briefed imprisoned party supremo Sharif about the opposition meeting.
“We will finalise our protest strategy after Eid. Maulana Fazlur Rehman (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazlur chief) will call the multi-party meeting after Eid for the purpose,” he said.
When asked whether the PML-N was on the same page as the PPP, Abbasi said: “We had attended Bilawal’s Iftar dinner after ignoring our differences. (PML-N leader) Maryam Aurangzeb, (PPP leader) Bilawal (Bhutto Zardari) and (PML-N leader) Hamza (Shehbaz) were sitting on one sofa, showing both opposition parties on the same page.”
He predicted a more active role of the PML-N in days to come.
“The PML-N will be seen more active. We will decide along with other opposition parties whether to topple the government (after Eid), or it may fall because of its own follies,” he said.
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