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Will expose characters behind Imran, Qadri sit-in: Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that big characters were behind the scenes when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) staged the sit-in 2014, and he will reveal their names at an appropriate time.

Talking to reporters inside the accountability court (AC), Nawaz said that these characters were behind not only Imran Khan but also Tahirul Qadri.

Responding to a question that the PTI has dismissed his demand for the formation of a commission, Nawaz said the PTI has neither any character nor has a constructive and positive ideology.

"It is a party to hurl allegations, a bad mouth party, a party to stage sit-ins, a party that always looks towards empire’s finger. This party constructed no new Pakistan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and even destroyed the old Pakistan. Nobody is satisfied with the progress of the PTI in KP. This party has no faith and slogan for the respect of vote," Nawaz added.

Going out of the court, Maryam Nawaz agreed to a journalist that Shahbaz Sharif is also with them in their strategy. Captain (retd) Safdar said that Pervez Rasheed was removed from the ministry to save the system. Regarding Nawaz Sharif’s recent statement, Safdar said that it was quoted out of context.

On Wednesday, the case proceedings were conducted during the power blackout and everyone, including the accused, lawyers and prosecutors, kept wiping sweat from their foreheads. Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif is conditionally willing to exercise restraint in his speeches, according to sources.

He made it emphatically clear that he wouldn’t budge to any pressure or fear for voicing his principled position with regard to the supremacy of democracy. Nawaz Sharif had extensive meetings here on Wednesday with his close associates at the Punjab House, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif.

They also evolved a detailed strategy to deal with the upcoming challenges. The proposal had been discarded to dissolve the National Assembly a day earlier for providing three months to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) instead of two months. They resolved that the country and democracy’s interest called for holding of the general elections at the earliest.

Nawaz Sharif made it clear that the country’s interest demanded that people should be educated about the ills that had harmed the country in the past. He questioned the patriotism of those who raised questions about his affection for the country and its people.

The sources pointed out that Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shahbaz Sharif analysed the recent events and urged the supreme leader to moderate his stance. Nawaz Sharif reportedly made it clear that he wouldn’t retract his assertions about the Mumbai attacks since they were based on reality and in no manner harmed the national interests.

The sources reminded that the PML-N hawks were impressing upon Prime Minister Abbasi to articulate his staunch support for the version of his supreme leader as he had discarded what the National Security Committee (NSC) of the cabinet had taken the position about the statement of Nawaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Abbasi’s position wasn’t well received by Nawaz Sharif when he met him on Monday after the NSC huddle. The presser of the committee was also castigated by Nawaz Sharif.

He said that the NSC meeting condemned his statement without any tangible reason. The sources are of the view that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held the media interaction immediately after the NSC meeting to ‘balance the equation’ in a bid to appease an aggrieved Nawaz Sharif but its broadcast was stopped by unknown authorities. In the same encounter, Prime Minister Shahid denied that the NSC condemned Nawaz Sharif’s statement saying the meeting ‘actually condemned Indian media’s propaganda’ and misreporting. Nawaz’s remarks were immediately picked by the Indian media, which termed the former prime minister’s statement a confession of Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.

The sources said that Prime Minister Abbasi had one-to-one meeting with his leader after departure of Shahbaz Sharif and continued for more than an hour. The prime minister briefed Nawaz Sharif about various developments on account of crucial issues, including the nomination of caretaker set-up and dissolution of the National Assembly.

Nawaz Sharif also chaired a high-level meeting of the PML-N stalwarts where a number of political issues were discussed. The question of non-appearance of NAB chairman in the NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice was also discussed. The participants condemned the conduct of the NAB chairman. Political course of action for the next polls and campaign was also choreographed in the huddle, the sources said.

The meeting was also attended by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, federal ministers Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Engineer Khurram Dastgir and Rana Sanaullah, Chaudhry Sher Ali, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Dr Syed Asif Saeed Kirmani, Daniyal Aziz, Talal Chaudhry, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Marriyam Aurangzaib and Maryam Nawaz Sharif. Later, Nawaz Sharif left for Lahore after spending a hectic political day in the federal capital.

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