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Get ready for elections: Nawaz

Nawaz Sharif says ‘no wish to take revenge’, seeks support of all ‘constitutional institutions’

Opens process of dialogue with all parties

Abbas Hasmi/DNA

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Monday directed the party leaders to begin their preparations for the elections — scheduled to take place on February 8, 2024. 

The directions were issued in a meeting at the PML-N’s central secretariat in Lahore where the three-time prime minister was welcomed by party president Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N Senior Vice-President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz and other leaders. 

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, PML-N Election Cell Chairman Senator Ishaq Dar and Central Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb also attended the meeting. 

The PML-N’s election campaign has entered a new phase as Nawaz starts his meetings with party members, said the party on its official X account, formerly Twitter. 

In the meeting, the members also discussed the future political activities of the party and the current political situation in the country. 

Speaking to the leaders, Nawaz said that they will start the journey to development from where it was left off. 

This was the first meeting of the PML-N supremo at the central secretariat after his return to Pakistan. He arrived in the country on October 21 after four years of self-exile in London. 

Following the meeting, Asif while speaking during a press conference said that Nawaz Sharif will contest in the upcoming elections. 

The former defence minister also addressed the concerns raised by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) about the level playing field. 

“Everyone has a level playing field, there is no unfairness,” he said.

As the time of general elections drew nearer, the rift between the former allies grew with the PPP persistently voicing concerns regarding the absence of equal opportunities to prove itself ahead of the polls.

‘Nawaz Sharif will contest in upcoming polls’

Aurangzeb, while speaking during a press conference after the meeting, said that Nawaz will contest in the February 8 elections and will become the prime minister for the fourth time.

“Nawaz Sharif has started conducting meetings from today and met the senior leadership of the party,” she said, adding that the party is ready for elections under Nawaz’s leadership.

Marriyum also said that the PML-N has formed a committee to work on the party’s manifesto.

“If anyone can steer the country out of crisis, it is Nawaz Sharif. We are ready to end inflation from Pakistan under Nawaz’s guidance,” said the former information minister.

Marriyum said PML-N was ready to bring peace and unity to the country.

Speaking about the rising rifts between PPP and PML-N, Marriyum said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance is still established today.

“Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Fazlur Rehman and others have played their role in the service of the people,” she said.

Marriyum told the PPP to “stop whining about the level-playing field and come to the election field”.

She further said that the demand for a level playing field shows that the people of Pakistan have already given a decision in favour of Nawaz Sharif on October 21.

Taking a jibe at PPP, the former federal minister said that their demand signifies their defeat in the polls. “On one hand, PPP says there is no level-playing field, while on the other hand, it says it will clean sweep the elections,” she added. 

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to ensure the conduct of general elections on February 8. The orders during the hearing of multiple pleas seeking timely elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

The court, in its order, mentioned that the notification of the general election date has also been issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), stating that no party has any objection to holding elections on February 8.

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