LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif chides Imran Khan for “betraying his party workers and his plans of making Naya Pakistan with the support of turncoats.”
“I have a heartfelt sympathy for the workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). They were cheated in the name of ‘Naya Pakistan’. Imran Niazi has shown his version of ‘Naya Pakistan’ by awarding tickets to turncoats,” tweeted Mr Sharif after co-chairing the parliamentary board meeting along with party Quaid Nawaz Sharif at party’s Model Town office on Saturday.
The younger Sharif also did not spare PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari saying no one was willing to take ticket from Mr Zardari to contest the upcoming general election.
Referring to Imran Khan, he said Niazi was busy accepting turncoats in his party and eventually preferred them to his party workers who had been struggling for long. His way of awarding tickets shows that he can see his defeat in the July 25 polls, Shahbaz said.
The PML-N president said Asif Zardari’s own workers had now decided not to take party ticket for the next elections.
He said the next elections had assumed much importance in the history of Pakistan since the foundation of development (laid by the PML-N government) require next five years for its strengthening. “The foundation of development will be strengthened in the next five years and Pakistan will enter a new era,” he said.
Bucking up his workers, who were at the party office for interviews to seek tickets, Mr Sharif said the masses would vote for the “Lion” and bury the politics of turncoats. The party leadership interviewed candidates for award of tickets in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions as well as women candidates for reserved seats.
“Women candidates from across the country are present at the PML-N secretariat for interviews. They are here to represent rights of womenfolk that are 48pc of Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources told Dawn that the PML-N would award tickets in two phases – the first batch expected to be announced on Sunday (today).
Sources also claimed that the differences between Shahbaz and Nawaz persisted over the grant of party ticket to Chaudhry Nisar as the latter insisted that the ticket should not be given without being requested.
It is learnt that the party leaders also discussed options of awarding tickets to a ‘competent’ party worker in place of Chaudhry Nisar. However, the proposal was not given a go-ahead owing to hard stance adopted by both Sharifs towards Mr Nisar.
Sources claimed there was a proposal that Shahbaz and Maryam contest election from three constituencies each. It was also suggested that Maryam may contest election from Karachi as well.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2018