ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet members on Wednesday and Thursday briefed the ruling party supremo Nawaz Sharif on Pakistan’s political and economic crises during an “emergency meeting” in London wherein they also discussed ways of overcoming various challenges confronting the country.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb
Said that Nawaz Sharif was informed about the prevailing economic position of the country. “The government team informed [Sharif] that petroleum prices haven’t been increased to save the public from additional burden of inflation,” she said.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, who is part of the delegation in London, said different recommendations were reviewed to provide relief to the people. “The government team presented their opinions about future strategies in light of the current economic position,” she said, adding that the country’s overall political situation also came under discussion.
“It was agreed unanimously in the meeting to deal with constitution violators as per the law,” she added.
Several federal ministers including Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Railways Ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, and Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan were also present to attend the meeting in London with Nawaz.
According to a Dawn report, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with senior party leaders in London issued instructions on how to handle the PTI’s planned march to Islamabad.
Speaking to the media alongside other party leaders after the meeting, Sanaullah said: “Mian Nawaz Sharif guided us on the anarchy [the PTI wants to commit] and the people they plan to gather in Islamabad. But because this is a coalition government, we will put this matter (the march) in the cabinet and if it is decided that we can’t allow them to come [to Islamabad] then forget two million, not even 20 people will come.”
It is pertinent to mention here that PTI chairman Imran Khan plans on marching to the capital by the end of this month to exert pressure on the government to call new elections.
Sanaullah lashed out at the PTI, saying that its chairman Imran Khan would not be allowed to spread “anarchy” in the country and there would be “zero tolerance” shown to the violators of the Constitution.
When questioned if Imran would be arrested for allegedly likening the army chief with “Mir Jafar”, Sanaullah said all legal requirements would be fulfilled and if an arrest was warranted then it would be made.
The interior minister also addressed the Inter-Services Public Relations’ statement from today, which took exception to the “imprudent comments” made by the country’s senior politicians against Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, and said the PML-N and Nawaz’s struggle was for the same purpose that “institutions dont take part in politics and arent dragged into politics”.
“We are very inspired that the judiciary and other institutions [are staying away from] the politics. Comments being made against them is wrong and we will defend them,” Sanaullah said.
Questioned whether corruption cases would be filed against the PTI, he said: “Cases are a very small matter. [Instead], their filth will be exposed. What they’ve done in these past 3.5 years with the people will be brought to light.”
The interior minister said the meeting had discussed early elections as well and the decision at the moment was for the government to complete its term, but, he said, “this decision is not in the hands of the PML-N but the forum of our allied parties’ leaders.”
He admitted that the PML-N earlier had a “clear stance” for early elections but this decision was not its to take alone now. Sanaullah said electoral reforms would be done and some way of representation for overseas Pakistanis would be found as well.
Questioned on the PML-N supremo’s return to Pakistan, Sanaullah said Nawaz would go back “at any cost” and wanted to as well.
Today was the second meeting of the PML-N leaders with Nawaz. In their first meeting on Wednesday they had briefed him on the “serious economic, constitutional and administrative crises inherited by the present government”.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had said the meeting reviewed in detail the steps taken by the government since it came to power last month and considered recommendations to save the public from inflation and power outages.
The government team presented its views on future measures in the light of economic realities, the statement said. The visit had marked the Sharif brothers’ first in-person meeting since March 2020.