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Thursday May 17 2018
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Whoever arranged controversial interview is Nawaz’s biggest enemy: Shehbaz

Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: File 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday that whoever arranged Nawaz's recent controversial interview is his [Nawaz’s] biggest enemy, according to sources.

He made the remark when asked by a PML-N MNA who arranged Nawaz Sharif's recent interview which sparked a national controversy. 

Shehbaz was chairing his first meeting of the party's parliamentary members. 

Moreover, sources said Shehbaz said that he’s proud of Nawaz but will advise him to give comments on sensitive issues after consultation.

Shehbaz also said that democracy is the only route to progress, adding that, Indian PM Narendra Modi has set a record of atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

Sources also said that four to five PML-N MNAs from South Punjab said that Nawaz’s recent statement on the Mumbai attacks and the government’s role in the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat amendment earlier damaged the party. 

However, sources said the rest of the MNAs expressed confidence in Nawaz's leadership.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also in attendance, as were around 120 lawmakers of the party. 

However, disgruntled party leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, though in Parliament, did not attend the meeting.

As the meeting went underway, lawmakers apprised Shehbaz of the issues faced by them and the negative atmosphere following Nawaz Sharif's recent controversial statement on the Mumbai attacks, according to sources. 

They added that they would face problems when the time comes to go to voters come election time. 

The PML-N president promised to take their grievances to party supremo Nawaz Sharif.  

Addressing the participants, Shehbaz said the PML-N completed all its promises and ushered an era of development in its tenure. He added that the party will take their achievements to the electorate during the upcoming general elections. 

Shehbaz, who was appointed the party's president after the disqualification of Nawaz, is also the chief minister of Punjab. 

PM Abbasi had chaired a similar meeting of the party lawmakers yesterday.

At Wednesday's meeting, the PM had taken PML-N lawmakers into confidence over the developments after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement on the Mumbai attacks, which was played up the Indian media stirring a controversy in the country.

Moreover, the PM also issued party guidelines during the meeting to ensure the presence of PML-N MNAs when the budget will be tabled in the assembly.

During the assembly session on Friday, the finance minister could not make his budget speech as the session was adjourned due to the low number of lawmakers.

Sources also said the PM took party members into confidence over the government's plan to table a constitutional amendment to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 

Cabinet discusses FATA reforms, other issues 

Earlier, the PM chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet.

Sources said that an 11-point agenda covering the country's security and economy was discussed in the meeting.

The cabinet also approved various the country's memorandums of understanding with other countries.

Sources said that the main agenda of the meeting was the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who survived an attack against him recently, also attended the meeting and received a warm welcome from cabinet members.

He thanked the cabinet members for their well-wishes and prayers.  

Iqbal was discharged Monday afternoon from the Services Hospital, where he was being treated after being shot at.

Iqbal underwent two operations, one aimed at removing the bullet from his lower torso and the other to mend his broken elbow bone. He had sustained a fracture after the bullet scraped his elbow and then hit his lower abdomen.

He was injured during an assassination attempt at a corner meeting in his constituency Narowal on May 6. 


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