Senior PML-N leaders held a meeting in London on Saturday with party president Shahbaz Sharif to discuss the party’s role in various parliamentary matters, including the pending legislation on an army chief’s tenure and the suspended appointments of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Among the members present in the meeting were Ahsan Iqbal, Ishaq Dar, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Khwaja Asif, Rana Tanvir, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Marriyum Aurangzeb.
After emerging from the meeting venue, Kh Asif said Shahbaz was briefed on parliamentary issues which arose in the recent weeks as well as non-parliamentary matters that Pakistan is confronted with. “His guidance on these issues was sought,” said Asif.
“We will formulate the party’s policy on these matters upon our return to Pakistan,” he said, adding, “The issue of the army chief’s extension cannot be commented upon until the issuance of the detailed judgment.”
Asif also said that if fresh elections were to take place, “our stance is that the first step should be an in-house change, not for the sake of perpetuating the change but for the sake of holding new elections.” The PML-N leader said the £190 million settlement by the family of property tycoon Malik Riaz was not discussed.
According to sources, announcement regarding formation of comittees to approach different political parties will also be made after the meeting.
“We will inquire after the party’s supreme leader and also take guidance (from Nawaz and Shahbaz) mainly on the issues of legislation on the extension in service of the army chief and the appointment of the new chief election commissioner,” PML-N spokesperson Aurangzeb had told media before the group’s departure from Pakistan on Thursday. She said the party leaders would return in a week after the consultation.
Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday criticised the government for the latest increase in the power tariff.
She hit out at Prime Minister Imran Khan in a series of tweets sent through the party’s account, saying the premier has become “bad news” for the nation.
Using Prime Minister Imran Khan’s catchphrase “ghabrana nahi hai” (don’t worry), Aurangzeb hit out at the prime minister in reference to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s decision to increase the electricity tariff by Rs0.26 per unit.
The spokesperson said Prime Minister Imran Khan, “asks the people not to worry after throwing an inflation bomb on them every month”. “For 15 months, liars, incompetent, and inefficient [people] have been ruling the country, and then they say ‘ghabrana nahi hai’.” The former information minister said in the first 15 months of the incumbent government’s tenure, employment, business and the economy has been “shut down” — “yet he says, ‘ghabrana nahi hai’.”
She further accused the prime minister of “stealing” votes, electricity and gas bills. “Lying is the only thing Prime Minister Imran Khan and his incompetent team have managed to make cheap,” she said.