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PML-N calls for early elections

PML-N calls for early elections

Ahsan Iqbal briefs media after party meeting; says party wants to see Nawaz as the next prime minister of Pakistan

Abbas Hashmi/DNA

LAHORE: The PML-N has demanded immediate elections in the country. PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal expressed these while talking to media after a party meeting chaired by Nawaz Sharif in Lahore.

“The party has invited applications from November onward from the candidates for contesting national and provincial assemblies elections and would hold a special general council at the Sharif Medical city on Nov 4 to express solidarity with the Palestinian people,” said Iqbal.

Briefing the media, the PML-N leader urged the courts to quash all the ‘fake’ cases against Nawaz Sharif and the elections should be held during the last week of January 2024.

He, without naming PTI chief, said the PMLN people were locked up in fake cases and now the PTI chairman should also be locked up in order to punish him for telling a lie.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif is set to kick off his party’s election campaign on November 10, as the general elections draw closer.

Nawaz — who left for London in November 2019 for medical treatment following the Lahore High Court’s approval — returned to Pakistan on October 21 after a four-year self-imposed exile in a grand welcome organised by the party at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan.

“We will strengthen judicial institutions if we come into power,” the PML-N supremo said, according to sources, while chairing his party’s in-person meeting for the first time in four years at his Jati Umra residence.

The three-time former prime minister will oversee the party’s parliamentary board for distribution of tickets and will also lead the party’s election campaign via his countrywide tours, a private channel reported.

Earlier, media reported that the PML-N meeting was to mull over the current political situation, general elections, and other issues in the Jati Umra meeting.

The huddle was also to discuss the launching of the party’s manifesto ahead of the upcoming general elections.

It is pertinent to know that the PML-N’s supremo has received flak from political opponents most notably Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for receiving allegedly “undue relief” in relation to various legal cases.

The former prime minister, since his return, has had his pleas restored by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against accountability courts’ conviction verdicts in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases.

The ousted premier was handed an accumulative 18-year jail term in the aforementioned cases.

Last week, the Punjab government also suspended Nawaz’s conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.

Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani claimed that he had received consent from Caretaker Prime Minister to “retain Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Ishaq Dar as Leader of the House”.

During a special session of Upper House of Parliament, an objection was raised against the use of the title of Leader of the House by Ishaq Dar.

PPP leader Shahadat Awan asked why the PML-N Senator had been labelled as the leader of the house on the agenda even though the elected government did not exist.

Responding to the query, Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani said he had received consent from Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Anwaarul Haq Kakar that Ishaq Dar would continue as the leader of the house.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office has not yet confirmed the appointment of Senator Dar as Leader of the House.

Sources within the PM’s Office told media that they have no information about appointing Dar as house leader. Moreover, the relevant parliamentary section of the government has also expressed ignorance in this regard.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ishaq Dar was appointed as leader of the house in the Senate by the then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Dar was sworn in as a senator after he had returned to the country after a five-year-long ‘self-exile’. Following this, he was sworn in as the new finance minister.

The PML-N leader had left the country in 2017 while standing trial in a corruption reference.

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