LONDON/ISLAMABAD: In yet another provoking, strong-worded address, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday claimed he has been informed that “someone else” was running the parliament houses, in lieu of its members.
The address to the central executive committee of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) comes almost two weeks after Sharif, who has been residing in London since November last year on the pretext of medical treatment, marked his return to the political ring almost after two years through a fiery speech to a gathering of the opposition parties, taking the military establishment head-on.
In his second virtual address in less than two weeks, Nawaz said, “People tell me that someone else is running the parliament. Other people come and give directions about the day’s agenda and voting on bills etc.”
Commenting on the country’s current political situation, he said, “We have broken free of the [British] colonisers only to be enslaved by our own. Today, we are not free citizens.”
In another video shared by PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, the former premier said that a colonel could be seen hiding his face during the hearing of a case against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
“What was the reason behind hiding his face? You were being insincere that is why you hid your face,” he said.
The speech comes days after Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed rocked the domestic political landscape by revealing the closet meetings between the military leadership and the opposition parties.
Shortly after, chief military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar further jolted the anti-establishment image of the PML-N as he disclosed former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair, a close aide to Nawaz, twice reached out to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the political and legal woes of the Sharif family.
Nawaz, in a separate statement released by the party, also said he was saddened by the arrest of his brother and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif.
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) کے قائد سابق وزیر محمد نوازشریف کا پارٹی کی ’سی۔ای۔سی‘ سے خطاب
شہبازشریف کے ساتھ سلوک پر دکھی ہوں
جو کچھ ہورہا ہے اس سے ہمارے جذبے اور بڑھے ہیں
انشاءاللہ ہم اپنی جدوجہد مزید تیز کریں گے
ہمیں اس پرفخر ہے کہ ہمارے ساتھی جرات سے حالات کا مقابلہ کررہے ہیں pic.twitter.com/WGYlGaDpJt
— PML(N) (@pmln_org) September 30, 2020
“However, our spirits will not be dampened by what is happening,” he said, adding that the party would double its efforts. “We are proud that our party workers are facing the current situation with courage. There is no example in the history of the treatment meted out to our children,” he said.
He added that Shehbaz has shown unparalleled strength and courage during these times and paid tribute to his brother for serving the nation with honesty. “He worked day and night to set up power plants in Punjab.”
Nawaz also paid tribute to the efforts of government officers who played a role in addressing the energy shortage. Commending his brother on his resilience, he said Shehbaz never bowed down in the face of difficulty.
“Shehbaz has played a role in strengthening our narrative. I am proud of my brother who has sent an example of being loyal and committed to one’s ideology,” he said.
The meeting was called to discuss the situation arising out of Shehbaz’s arrest and to formulate a future strategy in light of the current political situation, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Twitter earlier on Wednesday.