Nawaz, Asif and
Fazal discuss reasons
of Punjab defeat,
chalk-out strategy

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LAHORE Following the PML-N’s thumping defeat at the hands of PTI in the Punjab by-elections, the party’s supremo, Nawaz Sharif, blamed the “difficult decisions” taken by the centre for its failure.

As per the preliminary and unofficial results, PTI has swept the Punjab by-polls, remaining victorious on 15 seats out of 20, while the ruling PML-N suffered a bitter defeat managing to get only four seats.

Sources said that Nawaz said that his party paid the price of “difficult decisions” taken by the coalition government.

(From left to right) PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, JUI-Fs Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPPs Asif Zardari.

According to party sources, the three-time premier said that PML-N has suffered due to ‘difficult decisions’, referring to mammoth hikes in prices of petroleum products and electricity tariff among others to secure an IMF deal.

The party leader was also quoted as saying, “We respect the opinion of the people and the election results are still trickling in.”

Nawaz Sharif directed PM Shahbaz to call an emergency meeting. He said that after today’s election results, the plan for the future course will be decided in the emergency meeting.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman spoke over the phone to discuss the country’s political situation after PML-N’s humiliating defeat in the Punjab by-elections held a day earlier, Geo News reported Monday, citing sources.

The three leaders have reportedly agreed that a detailed plan of action will be adopted in consultation with other allies.

According to the sources, Nawaz, Zardari and Maulana Fazl reviewed the results of the Punjab by-elections and discussed the future strategy of the coalition government in Punjab and the centre.

In Sunday’s Punjab by-polls, the PTI bagged 15 out of the 20 constituencies up for grabs in the province.

The clear victory of PTI in the Punjab by-polls has turned around the number game in the Punjab Assembly, with Chaudhry Pervez Elahi now most likely to replace Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as the new chief minister of the province in the coming days.

Almost all the politicians who joined the PML-N and voted for Hamza Shahbaz Sharif lost to the PTI candidates.

Before the by-polls, the PTI and PML-Q had already jointly attained the strength of 173 (163 of PTI and 10 of PML-Q). Now, with 15 additional seats, this strength has reached 188 whereas the figure for the simple majority stands at 186. This means the PTI and PML-Q have crossed that landmark.

One independent MPA will likely be part of the new ruling coalition

Earlier, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to her Twitter handle saying that the defeat should be accepted with an open heart after the unofficial results started pouring in, showing the PTI in the lead.

“The PML-N should accept the results of the by-polls with an open heart and concede to the decision of the masses,” Maryam wrote.

She added that winning and losing were part of politics, therefore, the party should now focus on its weaknesses, identify them, and then overcome them. “God willing, everything will be fine,” she said.

The rivals Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged victorious in majority of the seats in today’s big test. According to the unofficial and inconclusive results, the Imran Khan-led party has secured 11 seats while it has a clear lead in five other constituencies.

The former ruling party won Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sahiwal, Khushab, Sheikhupura, Jhang and two other provincial assembly seats.

According to the unofficial and inconclusive results received so far, PML-N won only one of the four seats in Lahore while it has an advantage in two other constituencies.

Source privy to the development told Express News that Nawaz Sharif, who has been living in London for his ‘medical treatment’ since 2019, contacted his younger brother Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz – son of PM Shehbaz – and directed them to call an emergency meeting of the party to discuss the future course of action in the context of the results of today’s by-elections.

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