The Pakistan People’s Praty (PPP) has censured the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) “changed” narrative on elections, as the party’s supremo, Nawaz Sharif, avoids the mention of elections in his much-awaited address upon his return to the country after a four-year exile.
PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi said the PML-N has changed its narrative, even though they had earlier always spoken in favour of general elections ahead of the party supremo’s arrival back home.
The politician slammed the three-time former prime minister for shying away from speaking about polls in the country which, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), have been scheduled to take place at the end of January 2024.
“Nawaz Sharif should have talked about the election, but he did not,” the PPP leader said, sharing his views on Geo News show ‘Naya Pakistan’ on Saturday.
Speaking to the reporters at Dubai airport a day earlier, PML-N supremo Nawaz put his weight behind the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), saying his party is ready to accept “the ECP’s decision regarding elections”.
The PPP leader maintained that had Nawaz believed people would vote for him, he would have mentioned the elections in his speech.
Following his return from self-imposed exile, the PML-N supremo spoke about the alleged victimisation he and his family endured during the six years, particularly during the Imran Khan-led government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
While he spoke at length about the myriad of issues Pakistan is facing at the moment and made promises to resolve them once in power, the 73-year-old did not mention his party’s plans to contest the upcoming elections, which are expected to take place in the last week of January next year, as per the ECP.
“Today, the PML-N ripped the law apart,” he said, likening Nawaz’s homecoming to a coronation ceremony.
Taking a jibe at the way Nawaz has returned to Pakistan without fear of being tried by courts for his past convictions, the PPP leader also criticised the relief extended towards the PML-N.
He said the former premier was presenting his CV at his welcome gathering in a bid to appear as a suitable candidate for leading the country for the fourth time.
He lamented that the interim administration in Punjab, the sole purpose of which is to ensure a free and fair conduct of general polls, had assisted in organising the PML-N supremo’s welcome rally.
“We always say that all institutions should work within their ambit,” he said.
Kundi questioned the use of trains by PML-N to publicise the party supremo’s return. “Is any political party allowed to paint train coaches like this?”
“This time there will be no selection, the majority of the voters are youth. This time the vote will not be stolen,” he said, warning about the risk of anarchy if elections are rigged.
He insisted that the PML-N should not complain in such a scenario.
Kundi said that if the decision on who will rule the country next is already made, then it should be declared.
He maintained that this decision, however, has to be made by the public through voting.
“Pulling a crowd for public gathering is different from filling ballot boxes,” the PPP leader said.
Kundi also insisted that the PPP doesn’t believe in keeping any political party out of the election. “We are not saying that PTI should be banned.”