Amid rising political temperature in the country, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday suggested forming a national government for the next five years.

However, the current ruling party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), should have no role in it.

In an interview with a private TV channel, Shehbaz, who is also president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said that the national government, in a coordinated effort, should serve Pakistan for the next five years.

“In my opinion, we should form a national government without the PTI which should serve the country with all honesty and hard work for the next five years,” he added.

The opposition stalwart also said that a direction would then be given and further decisions about the country can be taken afterwards keeping the situation in mind at that time.

He said that it will take many years of sincere effort for eliminating the “venom spread by the PTI”.

“I think we will have nothing to with Imran Khan’s PTI,” he added.

To a question about alleged horse-trading by opposition parties, Shehbaz did not deny the claims and replied with a countering question that why planes were transporting members of national and provincial assemblies to Bani Gala a few years earlier?

“If there is money involved then you can take me to the task but if someone [switches sides] out of his conscious then it is our constitutional right [to accept him],” he added.

This is not the first time Shehbaz had floated the idea of forming a national government. In August last year, he had proposed a similar plan, saying no single party is capable of steering the country out of a myriad of problems facing the nation.

The opposition leader went on to say that if given a chance, his party would establish a national government, stressing that all political parties must be given “an equal chance and a level-playing field in the elections to form a people’s government”.

Shehbaz said that the “season of spring” is about to begin for the people of Pakistan and no matter how many hurdles PM Imran creates, “defeat is in his destiny”.

“It is not my or any other political leaders wish… it is the wish of 220 million people of this country who are in great misery and we took this decision [submitting no-confidence motion] after witnessing the condition of our people.”

He revealed that there are two schools of thought about the idea of bringing a no-trust vote in the lower house of parliament within the PML-N but the consensus was made when the party leaders saw the condition of the masses.

“When we saw people from Karachi to Peshawar being affected [by the policies of the PTI government] we took this decision unanimously. The PTI members of assemblies are not being able to connect with people and if had not taken this decision, our members would also not have been able to interact with the people,” he said.

He further said that Imran Khan used to say that if the government raises the prices of petroleum products and increases taxes it means that the prime minister is a thief but the current government is involved in both these practices.

“Even if you had brought back $2 billion instead of $200 billion, I would have appreciated that you have done a great service to this country,” he lamented the premier for taking many U-turns since coming into power.

The opposition leader in the National Assembly said that thousands of megawatts of electricity was included in the system during the tenure of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the country was relieved of chronic power problem.

“Today, Pakistan has the capacity to produce surplus electricity but this incompetent government is not able to capitalise on it.”

Shehbaz also said that the debate that at least Imran Khan is not corrupt should end now. “Corruption volcanoes are flowing under your nose… how are you not able to see it.”

To PM Imran’s offer to the opposition leader for a debate over the performance of the government, Shehbaz rejected the idea, saying that a debate cannot take place with a person who doesn’t have any “decency and a vision”.

“It is a waste of time if you debate with a person who doesn’t even know how to talk in a civilised manner and keeps on lying from day to night.”

The PML-N president said that during the tenure of his party before the PTI, all political leadership is taken on board before taking major decisions.

“When we were in process of tabling election reforms, we consulted all stakeholders including the PTI… at nights they used to carry out their rallies and during the day time they are with us,” he added.

He said that Pakistan is not in the process of destruction but has been destroyed on the economic front by the policies of the incumbent government, and also on the diplomatic front, Pakistan has never been more isolated.

Shehbaz said that during a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, it was revealed that the United States never asked for military bases in Pakistan.

He was replying to PM Imran’s famous “absolutely not” statement which he had said during an interview.

To a question about the bitter relationship between the PML-N and the PML-Q in the past, Shehbaz said that he went to meet the leaders of the government’s ally and had a fruitful discussion.

“We had a frank discussion as our relationship goes back a long way. We are trying that not only the PML-Q but also the MQM-P and BAP support us in our effort of getting rid of this government.”

He said that there is nothing final in politics. “Rivals become friends and friends become rivals. We will make a decision under the guidance of our leader Nawaz Sharif and in the interest of the people of Pakistan… We are trying to mend our relationship [with PML-Q] with sincerity.”

Shehbaz went on to say that opposition parties will also bring their party workers to “defend” the members from PTI’s hooliganism. “What can we do? If they don’t listen to reason then we have no choice [but to bring our own party workers].”

He said that the opposition has only one task in mind that the no-confidence motion should proceed in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution in a peaceful manner.

“I want to urge them [ruling party] not to do it [brining party workers] as it can do irreparable damage to the democracy in this country but if they do not listen then we have the right to defend our members… we will ensure their protection at all cost,” he added.

The PML-N president said that they had already announced a long march on March 23 and that plan is still intact.


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