Shehbaz asks who brought TTP back to Pakistan, tells PTI independents to form govt if they can

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday criticised the way one-sided noise was made about the success of [PTI-backed] independents after the announcement of just 10 per cent progressive results after the Feb 8 polling, terming the “projections” illogical. 

Fully armed non-state actors in one province [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] did not allow the voters to come to the polling stations, he said. 

Who was the person behind bringing the terrorists back to Pakistan, Shehbaz questioned – an obvious reference to the PTI founder’s disastrous move to hold talks with the TTP – as he demanded a thorough probe into the issue. 

Addressing a press conference at his party’s Model Town headquarters, he said the PTI was welcome to form the government if they had the required numbers, adding that the PML-N would sit on the opposition benches.

The PTI was free to form government in Centre and tackle the huge challenges currently faced by Pakistan, the PML-N president remarked. 

However, Shehbaz said, the PML-N would try forming the government for which efforts were already underway, if the PTI couldn’t through its independent winning candidates.

At the same time, the PML-N president said he was still confident that Nawaz Sharif would assume the prime minister’s office for a record fourth term. 

He said electoral process had been completed despite the suspicions over holding the Feb 8 elections, which included the terrorism threat.

Shehbaz said allegations were levelled against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) using different pretexts like the level-playing field. 

He recalled how the RTS was systematically shutdown in 2018 elections as well as the removal of Nawaz Sharif before that in 2017 and said the PML-N didn’t resort to violence after the blatant rigging against his party.

Shehbaz also went through the attitude shown by the PTI founder during his stint as prime minister, where, he said, all the suggestions presented in national interest – including the Charter of Economy – were ignored. The practice could only be described as fascism, said the PML-N president.

Shehbaz also narrated the “35 punctures” saga in which the PTI founder had first claimed rigging in 2013 elections and later retracted from the allegation, saying it was just a political statement.

When asked about the alleged victimisation of PTI, Shehbaz recalled how Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders were booked and sentenced in bogus cases.

About the future course of action, he said the challenge was not of coming into power, but to save Pakistan and put it back on the track leading to progress. Decisions would have to be made setting aside the personal liking and disliking, the former prime minister stressed.

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