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Maryam Nawaz is ready for talks with establishment if Imran Khan’s government is toppled

PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz has said that her party is willing to hold talks with the military establishment, however, only under the condition that the PTI government is shown the door. Is she encouraging the establishment to topple a democratically elected government?

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PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz has said that her party is willing to hold talks with the military establishment, however, only under the condition that the PTI government is shown the door.

Her remarks came during an interview with BBC Urdu.

Maryam is currently on a campaign trail in Gilgit-Baltistan in connection with the upcoming elections for the region’s legislative assembly.

She claimed that the establishment had contacted her close associates for talks. “The establishment has contacted many people around me, but no one has contacted me directly,” Maryam said.

Asked whether she was ready to hold talks with the current leadership of the Pakistan Army, she said: “The start of talks from the PDM platform could be considered provided the fake government is sent home.”

The PML-N vice-president added: “The army is my institution. We will definitely talk but within the ambit of the Constitution.”

She said it will be unacceptable if anyone “tries to step out of the batting crease and play”. “Things will be discussed within the (scope) that has been laid down by the Constitution. And [talks] will now be held in front of the people, not in secret.”

Maryam stressed that she is not against any institutions. “I am not against [institutions] but I think this government will have to go home if we are to move forward,” she said.

The statement came days after Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in an interview with BBC, said that taking names of military leaders was Nawaz Sharif’s personal choice. It was decided in the PDM agenda to use the ‘establishment’ word and not to take the name of any national institution, he said.

Political analysts are of the view that Maryam is now planning to invite the military to topple a democratically elected government.

Nawaz asked leaders not to meet army leadership

On September 24, Nawaz Sharif on Twitter regretted that “some meetings are kept hidden under ‘seven curtains’ while others are made public to give them their own meaning.” He continued that such practices should stop.

He continued to say that he forbids any member of his party from meeting with the Pakistan army of any affiliated agency, on a personal, or at the party level.

Pakistan Army has made public information regarding PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair reaching out to the Chief of the Army Staff General Bajwa seeking help in political tribulations of Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryum.

DG ISPR, Major General Babar Iftikhar, had confirmed that PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair had met twice with COAS, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The DG ISPR said DG ISI Faiz Hameed had also been present in the meetings.

DG ISPR said the first meeting was held in the last week of August and the second was on September 7. He said in both the meetings Zubair only talked about issues related to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. Explaining further about the meetings he said that the meetings were held in August and September respectively. He also explained that the COAS had made it clear to the PML-N leader that legal issues were to be directed to the courts, and for political issues, the parliament was to be consulted.

Zubair, while talking to Geo’s Shahzeb Khanzada, said about the meetings, “There’s nothing unusual about the meeting,” he said when asked about the DG ISPR’s remarks.

“As a friend, I thought I should brief him (Bajwa) on the state of economy of Pakistan and issues of governance. But at the outset of the meeting I told him in clear words that I had not come to seek relief for anyone in my party, neither had I come on the request of anyone — neither Nawaz nor anyone else.”

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