PML-N stays mum on Zardari’s allegations

LAHOREWith hopes of forging a future alliance with the Pakistan People Party (PPP) to give the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PT) government a tough time, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has once again decided to remain quiet over PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari accusing it of being a pro-establishment party, The Express Tribune has learnt.The former president has, for a second time in the past four days, alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan has risen to power the same way as Sharif did – by striking a deal with the establishment.“Pakistan is being governed by an under-14 team which despite being in government is still behaving like the opposition,” said Zardari while talking to media in Khairpur on Thursday. He added that in his very first speech in parliament, he advised the government to do its job and leave the opposition’s job to the other side of the House.“Imran and Sharif both came into power through agreement but this happens even in the most developed countries like the US,” said Zardari claiming “democracy in any form is still the best form of government”.To a question about the silence of Sharif and her daughter Maryam, he said they might be trying to cool down the political temperature.Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said she had not heard Zardari’s remarks so she could not make any comment.

Senior PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid also refused to comment on the issue.

Rana Sana Ullah also chose to keep silent on the former president’s remarks about the PML-N leadership, stating that he had not watched the press conference either.

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Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said, “We will play role of the big brother and not comment on Zardar’s statements.”Senior PML-N leaders believe that Zardari wanted to strengthen his own position through the APC – for which Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehamn was making efforts – and negotiate a deal for himself by using Sharif and the PML-N to his advantage.“Zardari offered the PTI his support a day after Sharif declined to participate in the APC,” said a senior leader, claiming that since then he had been continuously accusing the PML-N of striking ‘deals’The PML-N leaders also said the party had to back out of the APC after it realised it was not the best time to launch any such movement which would have stemmed from such an effort.

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Another PML-N leader claimed the party would not respond to Zardari’s ‘mudslinging’ in bid to keep the opposition intact.“Such comments are pushing us into a tight corner so the PPP should abstain from further offending the PML-N,” said the leader on condition of anonymity, adding both the former ruling parties must work together while in the opposition.

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