PML-N not ‘scared’ of polls: Maryam

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President has said that her party is not afraid of elections and that it would win majority seats when Punjab heads to polls. Maryam, who was appointed as the party’s chief organiser earlier this month, landed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport from Abu Dhabi at around 3:30pm after a brief delay in her flight.

Addressing the PML-N workers in Lahore, the senior party leader reiterated that Nawaz would be among them soon — a topic that has been widely speculated about. “These [establishment] people ousted Nawaz from the government again and again. You brought him into power thrice but these people toppled his governments,” she said. The PML-N leader termed the ouster of Sharif on July 28, 2017, in the Panama leaks case as a “national tragedy”, adding that Pakistan has not recovered since then.

Maryam vowed that she would not rest until her party changes the fate of the nation and steers the country out of the ongoing crisis — both economic and political. “All the characters who hatched a conspiracy against Nawaz have to pay the price for their actions,” the PML-N senior vice president said, who will now lead the party’s efforts ahead of the provincial elections.

Maryam thanked Nawaz, PML-N President and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and the party workers for posing their trust in her leadership and assigning her new responsibilities. Taking a jibe at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, she said that he was “crying” after dissolving his governments in the two provinces. Maryam hoped that her party would win the next elections with a heavy majority and Khan will have to “cry for the rest of his life.

Talking about her election strategy, the PML-N leader said that she would visit each district of Punjab from February 1. In conversation with journalists, those who showed loyalty to the party will be given priority and the tickets would be issued on merit. The PML-N leader said that she wanted to reorganise and strengthen the structure of the party.

Maryam said that PML-N is united, however, there might be differences at the local level, which are of common occurrence in every political party. She said that PML-N Senior Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s loyalty to the party goes back three decades and that his loyalty could not be questioned.

“Party is like a home and it should be united. There should be no personal agenda in the party,” she added.

Addressing the party workers, the PML-N vice president lauded Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for his efforts aimed at putting the country on the path of economic progress and prosperity. Posing her trust in Dar, Maryam said that he was making all-out efforts to overcome the crisis, adding that the finance czar had steered Pakistan’s economy out of crisis several times. “It will take some time to fix the problems left behind by the previous PTI government,” she said, adding: “Have faith in Ishaq Dar [and] God. We’ll take the economy out of this [quagmire].”

The statement comes at a time when FinMin Dar is under severe criticism from stakeholders across the board for stalling the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, which led to a steep fall in the foreign exchange reserves, and the severe depreciation of the rupee. Maryam’s flight, PK264 was delayed due to a medical emergency on the plane. The flight was scheduled to depart for Pakistan at 11:00am Emirates local time, but it was delayed after a passenger on the plane complained of heart pain.

Upon the complaint, a medical team rushed to the plane and conducted a medical examination of the passenger. The passenger was off-loaded and taken to a hospital for further medical assistance. The flight, after a one-hour delay, departed from Abu Dhabi to Lahore at 12:54pm.