PML-N ready for Punjab polls as Maryam set to return this month

With Maryam Nawaz set to return to the country this month, the PML-N leaders said they were ready for the Punjab Assembly elections and hand an exemplary defeat to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

On Friday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had a telephonic conversation with Nawaz Sharif – the party supremo – and also chaired a meeting of senior leaders at his Lahore residence to discuss the political situation.

According to sources, Nawaz asked Shehbaz to direct Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman to tackle political matters in the province after Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi signed a summary for the dissolution of the provincial assembly.

The governor said it was a difficult task for a democratic person to dissolve the assembly, but there was a provision in the Constitution (to do so).

“However, it is my duty to see it from all aspects. A decision to sign the summary will be taken after taking cognisance of all the constitutional and legal aspects,” Baligh-ur-Rehman said.

A caretaker set-up and the date of the next election had also to be given, therefore, he would take a decision keeping all these aspects in view, he added.

Meanwhile, the return of Nawaz was also a subject of the discussion at the key meeting as the PML-N leaders were of the view his presence in Pakistan was a must if the party had to go into polls.

However, some sources say Shehbaz informed the party leaders that Nawaz along with Maryam would also return to Pakistan in the coming weeks and actively participate in the election campaign, said the sources.

A party insider said that prime minister told the participants to put up a brave face on the prospect of going into polls and need not be apologetic.

As the party discussed how Parvez managed to win the trust vote despite the ‘best’ efforts of PML-N and PPP to stop the development, Baligh-ur-Rehman in a media talk said he would sign the summary for the dissolution after going through all legal aspects.

PML-N’s over-reliance on the establishment and Asif Ali Zardari reportedly was one of the major factors for the party’s failure to cause required defections in the PTI-PML-Q alliance, the meeting was told.

PML-N is confident

Several PML-N leaders voiced their determination to win the provincial polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as they talk to media and appeared in TV talk shows on Friday night.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the PML-N was prepared for polls in Punjab within 90 days and claimed to succeed in the provincial assembly elections.

Rana Sana said the coalition parties were not in favour of dissolving the assemblies as that was an undemocratic act. “There was a strong opinion in our party to let them dissolve the assemblies, but if it happens, we are ready for elections,” he added.

He said the PML-N tried to stop the undemocratic process in Punjab, adding that martial laws had derailed the democratic process in history, and currently a political dictator was trying to derail it.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the summary would be treated as per law and the PML-N was not afraid of elections.

“With the chief minister’s advice of dissolution, Imran’s bandit rule has ended in Punjab,” Khawaja Asif remarked and added that they would hand Imran Khan an exemplary defeat in Punjab.

Rejecting the option to call for a general elections, the minister asked how they could ask the Sindh and Balochistan governments to dissolve the provincial assemblies.

Another PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar said the matter of appointment of a caretaker chief minister would be discussed after the signing of the assembly dissolution summary by the governor, adding that the PML-N central leadership would soon return home.

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