PML-N ready for opposition if independents show minority: Shehbaz

PML-N ready for opposition if independents show minority: Shehbaz

LAHORE, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) can form a government in the Centre if they have the required number of seats.

Addressing a press conference at the party secretariat in Model Town, he said that if PTI-backed candidates could show majority in the National Assembly then they were welcome to form a government. “The PML-N is ready to sit in the opposition if PTI-backed candidates prove their majority in the lower house of parliament. The PML-N will accept the government of the PTI-backed independent candidates but if they fail to do so, then the PML-N will use its legal and constitutional right as the PML-N has a majority in Punjab and is the largest in the Centre in terms of party,” he added.

The PML-N president said that after independent candidates’ induction into the party the number of elected members was now 80, adding that more independent lawmakers would join the PML-N in the coming days.

He said that despite PML-N failing to secure a majority in the elections, PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif was still the party’s candidate for the slot of prime minister. “Nawaz Sharif will become the prime minister for the fourth time,” he added.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz would invite everyone to form a coalition government in the Centre, adding that all stakeholders would have to move forward together in the country’s larger interest. He said that the PML-N was in contact with the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) MQM-P, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) while deliberations were underway to make an alliance under the leadership of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif.

In terms of policy and governance, Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed a dedication to national prosperity, stressing a commitment beyond individual terms or titles. He reflected on the pledges made by Nawaz Sharif in 2013, specifically regarding tackling the energy crisis, and asserted success in diminishing corruption levels during their tenure, as indicated by Transparency International rankings.

He also rejected the allegations that the polls were manipulated in favour of his party and recalled that his party members had faced intimidation and false cases during the tenure of PTI, adding that the country was facing the biggest challenges in its history today and called for making sacrifices in the country’s interest.

To a question about the power-sharing formula between the PPP and the PML-N, Shehbaz said a consultation process was underway for the formation of a government. Despite having the majority, Shehbaz said the PML-N Quaid decided to hold consultations with key political players. He said that it was not about forming a government, but to save Pakistan and then put the country on the path to development and progress. The PML-N accepted the public mandate, he maintained.

PML-N senior leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ishaq Dar, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Attaullah Tarar, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Azma Bukhari were present.