Let’s bury the hatchet, Nawaz asks opponents


Says he has asked Shehbaz Sharif to meet Fazlur Rehman, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, and Asif Ali Zardari

Abid Raza

LAHORE: Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate for the premiership, said Friday he seeks to form a united government after his party “emerged victorious” in the February 8 general election.

“I have tasked Shehbaz Sharif to meet Fazlur Rehman, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, and Asif Ali Zardari today,” Nawaz told a charged crowd in Lahore’s Model Town, which was there to listen to his “victory speech”.

However, as the results trickle in, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidates are leading with more than 90 seats to their name, while the PML-N is trailing behind.

The party’s top leaders, on the contrary, said that their candidates have won a majority of the seats and will form government in the centre.

“Alhamdulillah, the PML-N is the largest single party in the country today after the elections.”

The three-time former premier, who ended his self-imposed exile in October last year, urged all the national institutions and politicians to play a positive role in steering the country out of the ongoing crises.

Referring to the country’s fragile economy, Nawaz said: “At least 10 years are needed for bringing stability to the country.”

He said that it was the responsibility of the PML-N to steer the country out of the crises.

The PML-N supremo said that they respect the mandate of all the political parties and independent candidates, and invited them to sit with the former ruling party for the sake of the country

“Our sole agenda is a prosperous Pakistan,” he added.

Hinting at forming a collation government, the PML-N top leader said that the party’s President Shehbaz Sharif would meet PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F Chief Fazalur Rehman, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other leaders today.

Earlier in the day, PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said that the successful independents have contacted his party and shown interest in joining it.

However, PTI — which also claims to have the biggest number of National Assembly seats — ruled out forging an alliance with the PML-N or Pakistan Peoples Party to form the federal government.

Pakistan on February 8 witnessed the biggest-ever general elections in the country’s history. The election results were expected to be completed a few hours after midnight, but the unofficial results couldn’t be released even over 24 hours after the end of polling, sparking a controversy.