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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Nawaz Sharif shares reasons for defeat in Punjab by polls

PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif directed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz to call an emergency meeting of the party to discuss the future course of action.

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PML-N supreme leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has blamed “difficult decisions” taken by his party’s federal government for its defeat in Sunday’s Punjab by-elections against arch-rival PTI.

According to media sources, Nawaz Sharif contacted his younger brother Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif. He also spoke to his nephew Chief Minister of Punjab Hamza Shehbaz. Nawaz Sharif said that his party paid the price of “difficult decisions” taken by the coalition government, referring to mammoth hikes in prices of petroleum products and electricity tariffs among others to secure an IMF deal.

Moreover, Nawaz Sharif – who has been living in London since 2019 for his ‘medical treatment’ – directed them to call an emergency meeting of the party to discuss the future course of action in the context of the results of the Punjab by-elections.

“We respect the opinion of the people and the election results are still trickling in,” Nawaz Sharif was quoted as saying.

Read more: Imran Khan demands early elections after victory in Punjab

In a major achievement, PTI wrested control of Punjab back from the PML-N with a landslide victory in the by-election on 20 constituencies. PTI won 15 constituencies, dealing a major blow to the PML-N, who only clinched four.

PTI’s victory on 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly is of paramount importance as it will now decide the fate of Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz. To clarify, with a now majority, PTI is likely to defeat PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz when a recount of votes for the chief minister election takes place on July 22.

PML-N reaction

On the other hand, PML-N has accepted defeat and so far, is respecting the election outcome. PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, who led the PML-N campaign, said the ruling party should accept the election results with an open heart.

“The PML-N should accept the results of the by-polls with an open heart and concede to the decision of the masses,” Maryam wrote.

She added that winning and losing were part of politics, therefore, the party should now focus on its weaknesses, identify them, and then overcome them.

“God willing, everything will be fine,” she said.

Meanwhile, PML-N leader and Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the result of the Punjab by-polls proved that state institutions and the government did not commit any rigging.

“Today we can also level allegations of rigging like Imran Khan but we will not do so,” he added. Khawaja Saad Rafique said that it was important to understand that PML-N’s contest was with rising oil prices and inflation and the government made difficult decisions to save the country from bankruptcy.

Read more: Congratulations PTI for learning to stand on your own feet