Wednesday Jan 27, 2021
ISLAMABAD: PML-N leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said Wednesday that the party will contest the upcoming Senate elections to deter the PTI from obtaining a two-thirds majority in the parliament.
Speaking to media outside an accountability court, the PML-N stalwart said that his party did not believe in "leaving the field open for the PTI". Iqbal said that if the PML-N did not contest elections, then the ruling party will obtain a two-thirds majority and "change the face of the Constitution."
"[PML-N] will take part in Senate elections and will stop the PTI from obtaining a two-thirds majority," he said, adding that if the PTI manages to secure the majority, it could do away with the 18th Amendment and impose a presidential system of governance in the country.
"They [PTI] can take the country towards a presidential system," he said. "We will take part in the Senate [elections] as the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) central point is to stop the government's conspiracies."
He said that the PDM had obtained success in its endeavours against the government, alleging that the prime minister's panicked state was proof of that.
Iqbal warned that a "decisive long march" will sweep away the government when the time comes. "Every minister of the PTI is involved in the worse form of corruption," he said. "Be it the sugar, wheat or utility store corruption. Each minister, on the one hand, talks about honesty and on the other hand, is busy looting the country."
The former interior minister said that NAB was a "one-eyed body", adding that it was looking the other way when it came to the ruling party's corruption.
Iqbal rubbished a minister's claims that he had embezzled Rs70bn from CPEC projects, adding that whatever money that contractors had received from Chinese companies, had been paid directly to the contractors.
"It is due to these irresponsible statements that the CPEC has become controversial around the world," he said.
Iqbal said that the PTI government had taken more loans so far than the PML-N government had during its five-year tenure, adding that the incumbent government still had not carried out any development projects for the masses.
Earlier, Geo News had reported that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz had met PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman where she discussed contesting the by-polls.
Sources had revealed that if the PPP decides to "stick to its decision of contesting Senate elections, then PML-N will also consider the same".
Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that each party must decide on its own whether or not it wants to contest the by-elections, the sources had said, adding that the matter will be taken up by the PDM in their meeting on February 4.
In March 2021, 52 seats will be up for grabs, including 12 seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, 11 from Punjab and Sindh, four from the newly-merged Federally Administered Tribal Areas and two from Islamabad
Some prominent names who will be bidding farewell to the Senate next year include Shibli Faraz, the federal minister for information and broadcasting, Usman Khan Kakar, Mohsin Aziz, Pervez Rashid, Mushahidullah Khan, Raja Zafar ul Haq, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Sardar Yaqoob Nasir, Raheela Magsi, Kalsoom Parveen, Sherry Rehman, Rehman Malik, Farooq Naek, Saleem Mandiwala, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif and Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, amongst others.