PML-N to resist
election delay if
any attempt is made;
says Shehbaz Sharif


ISLAMABAD: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has said any delay in the conduct of general elections will be harmful to the country and his party will resist any move to postpone the Feb 8 polls.

He said polls were only 18 days away and their postponement at the last minute would be detrimental, he said while speaking at a Geo News programme. He claimed that PML-N would win a simple majority in the upcoming polls and added that running the affairs of the government would be difficult without having a simple majority. He said that if voters chose PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in the elections then the PML-N would also accept the decision of the masses.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif during an interview. 

“Absolutely because it will be dangerous for the country,” said Mr Sharif when asked if his party would put up resistance in case of any move to delay the elections over any reason, including prevailing Pakistan-Iran tensions.

In response to a question, he refuted the impression that the PML-N was facing a problem in running its election campaign due to the performance of the previous coalition PDM government in the country. He said it was not the PML-N alone, but there were 13 other parties in the coalition government. He said they had actually saved the country from default.

He said the PML-N had a strong narrative of Nawaz Sharif’s performance. He then highlighted the “achievements” of the previous PML-N governments under Nawaz Sharif.

Mr Sharif termed Iran’s aggression unfortunate, stating that no one was expecting such an act from a brotherly neighbouring country. He was of the view that Iran should have tried to resolve the matter through talks.

In response to a question regarding the possibility of joining hands with incarcerated Imran Khan, Mr Sharif said there was no doubt that the country needed unity and national integrity. However, he alleged that Imran Khan had committed “treason” by attacking state installations on May 9 last year.

“How can we forget May 9? It was treason against the army, against [army chief] Asim Munir and the country,” he said, adding: “It [May 9] was a conspiracy not only hatched by Imran Khan but also people from the army and the judiciary.”

In response to Senate resolutions seeking a delay in the polls, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last week said general elections scheduled for February 8 could not be put off “at this stage”. According to the ECP, the commission said that it had made all the necessary arrangements regarding the conduct of general elections. It said it had also submitted a commitment to the Supreme Court in this regard.