Former prime minister claims his party’s fight is not for a ‘few seats’ in Parliament, but rather the rule of law
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)’s Nawaz Sharif on Monday hit out at speculation over his party’s internal rifts, stressing that there had been no change in its fight for civilian supremacy and constitutional rule.
“This struggle is not for winning or losing seats [in Pakistan-administered and bye-polls] but for freedom from transgressors of the Constitution. [It is also] for standing on the right side of history without compromising on our self-respect,” he said in a posting on Twitter from London, where he has been since November 2019 for “medical treatment.” He vowed that all attempts to sow rifts between the PMLN and the public would fail.
The PMLN supreme leader’s statement appears to be a direct response to ongoing speculation that the party is reconsidering its stance on civilian supremacy, with PMLN President Shahbaz Sharif—also the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly—telling Geo News over the weekend that it was time to set aside ego and focus on facilitating a grand dialogue between all stakeholders to steer Pakistan of crisis.
Nawaz also questioned how the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secured 26 seats in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, reiterating his party’s allegations of electoral rigging in last month’s polls. “The PTI with 600,000 votes got 25 seats and PMLN with 500,000 won six seats. Who will believe this? During the campaign the PMLN held historic rallies and the participants’ passion was worth witnessing, while on the contrary empty chairs at public meetings of the government officials had another story to tell,” he said.
“The manner in which the results of AJK and Sialkot bye-polls were achieved had come to light much before the polling day. More facts in this respect will be uncovered in the coming days,” he added.
There has been much speculation over the PMLN’s losses in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir polls, where the party could only secure 6 seats despite hosting massive rallies. Independent analysts have said this is not a surprise, as Pakistan-administered Kashmir traditionally votes in favor of the ruling party at the center. However, there are also growing concerns over whether the PMLN’s hardline stance is damaging its electoral prospects.