ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers on Thursday expressed serious reservations over the recent statement by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on the Mumbai attacks.
The lawmakers vented as PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif chaired the first parliamentary party meeting. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was among more than a hundred party lawmakers in attendance at the meeting.
The meeting was convened to deliberate selection of party candidates in Punjab for the upcoming general elections. Those aspiring for a PML-N ticket have been advised to submit their applications till May 25.
According to a private television channel report, the lawmakers apprised Shehbaz Sharif their reservations on Nawaz Sharif’s recent controversial statement on the Mumbai attacks with the apprehension that the negative atmosphere it created potentially affecting the upcoming election campaigning of the party candidates.
The lawmakers also said the statement has intensified the clash between the state institutions. They said that even India did not blame its institutions after Kulbhushan Yadav was arrested in Pakistan for espionage and terrorist activities.
They also expressed reservations over Nawaz Sharif’s recent presser against chairman of National Accountability Bureau during which he demanded his resignation over an inquiry that he had allegedly laundered money to India.
Expressing reservations over the PML-N supreme leader’s recent interview to an English daily, the lawmakers said that the matters such as Khatam-e-Nabuwat amendments and national security issues have increased difficulties for the party, sources said.
According to sources, party President Shehbaz Sharif said those who arranged Nawaz Sharif’s interview have harmed him. He vowed to address the party lawmakers’ grievances, and said he will talk to the PML-N head over the issue.
The lawmakers also urged Shehbaz Sharif to take charge of party affairs, sources further said. They questioned if disgruntled leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was still a member of the party. Shehbaz Sharif assured that Nisar is a senior member and will always remain a part of the party.
Addressing the lawmakers, Shehbaz Sharif said the PML-N completed all promises and ushered an era of development during its tenure. He added that the party will take their achievements to the electorate during the upcoming general elections. He assured that narrative by Nawaz Sharif will soften over the time.
It may be mentioned here that PM Abbasi had chaired a similar meeting on Wednesday to take party lawmakers into confidence after the recent statement by the party’s supreme leader.
PM Abbasi also issued party guidelines to ensure the presence of parliamentarians when the budget bill will be presented in the National Assembly. He also apprised them over plan to table a constitutional amendment to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. NNI