Shahbaz assures party Nawaz will soften tone

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Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

A meeting of the Parliamentary party of PML –N was held here in which several members of the party voiced their apprehensions on the recent statement of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Mumbai attacks.
Nawaz in an interview with an English daily had sai: “should we allow non state actors to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?”. These remarks stirred an uproar in the country as it was played up by the Indian media.
In a parliamentary committee meeting chaired by incumbent PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, several party members reportedly including Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang, Abdul Rahman Kanju and Shafqat Baloch expressed concerns regarding the interview, noting that Nawaz’s remarks were played up by the Indian media and that chants of ‘Whoever is Modi’s friend is a traitor’ had subsequently done the rounds.
At this, Shahbaz, who has taken over from Nawaz as the PML-N president following the latter’s disqualification, said “whoever arranged that interview is the biggest enemy of Nawaz Sharif”.
According to sources, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif said no one should say things which could hurt the country, and assured his party that there will soon be softness in Nawaz’s rhetoric on contentious issues.
Shahbaz did defend his sibling, saying: “No one is more patriotic than Nawaz Sharif”.
However, he also added that he will try and convince the PML-N ‘supreme leader’ to consult his party before talking on sensitive matters.
PML-N’s parliamentary leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was present in the Parliament House but did not attend the party’s parliamentary meeting.

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