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PML-N’s next strategy to focus on Bajwa, Faiz, Imran and former judges

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  • PML-N inches closer to adopting aggressive narrative against five individuals.
  • Party’s focus to be on Bajwa, Faiz, Imran, Saqib Nisar and Khosa for “conspiring”to dislodge Nawaz.
  • Sources say everyone in PML-N agrees that new narrative will explain how country’s progress was halted in 2017.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is inching closer to adopting an aggressive narrative against five individuals for the economic and political chaos in the country and for bringing Pakistan to the current stage through a long-planned conspiracy.

The five individuals against whom the PML-N has started turning its guns with full ferocity are army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, Lt General (retd) Faiz Hameed, retired judges Saqib Nisar, Asif Saeed Khosa and former prime minister Imran Khan.

Sources have confirmed that several senior figures of the party have recommended to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif that the party’s focus should be on Bajwa, Faiz, Imran , Saqib Nisar and Khosa, for being solely responsible for a conspiracy to dislodge Nawaz and his government in 2017, as well as rigging its mandate in 2018 to install Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

They said that almost everyone in PML-N agrees that attacks on these five individuals should be the new narrative of the party to explain to the people of Pakistan that the country’s progress was halted in 2017, when the Saqib Nisar-led judiciary went out of its way to expel Nawaz from electoral politics by disqualifying him for life in the Iqama case; appointing a Supreme Court monitoring judge against him and pressuring the judges to give verdicts against him, his family and colleagues.

The PML-N, said the sources, will focus on General (retd) Bajwa and Lt General (retd) Hameed for implementing a plan to bring Khan to power at all costs and this has brought Pakistan to the current stage after nearly four years of PTI’s government.

Since his ouster from power through a vote of no confidence in April 2022, former premier Khan has attacked General (retd) Bajwa – without naming him when he still held the army chief’s post and later naming him after his retirement. Khan also targetted other generals, calling them traitors, American agents and evil for not stopping the no-confidence motion against him. However, he has not said a word against General (retd) Hameed, whom he wanted to continue as the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence chief, but it was Nawaz who unleashed a storm in October 2020 when he named both General (retd) Bajwa and General (retd) Hameed in a live address from London, accusing them of ousting him from power to install Khan’s government through rigging in polls.

That narrative – of naming and shaming Bajwa and Faiz – was harshly criticised in media circles but it won support for Nawaz on the ground. However, the PML-N went quiet after coming to power in the Centre as Shehbaz Sharif became the prime minister. Now PML-N leaders are of the view that directly blaming the military establishment has won support for Khan as he had shifted all blames and wrongdoings towards his former backers while claiming innocence on his part for as long as he was in the government.

A senior leader confirmed that the new narrative was a work in progress and although the PML-N has wasted time in adopting this but now there is a feeling that this will be the permanent narrative of the party.

The senior leader confirmed: “Almost everyone is of the view that the rebranded narrative cannot succeed unless it takes the fight directly to the main characters of the political events of the last six years, who played a key role in bringing about the Tabdeeli project in the shape of Imran Khan. This is a project which could never have succeeded without full support from Saqib Nisar, General (retd) Bajwa, General (retd) Faiz Hameed and Asif Khosa. Everyone in Pakistan is aware of the role these characters played violating rules, Constitution, law and oath.”

Stung by the recent setbacks in Punjab, PML-N stalwarts have advised Nawaz that the only way forward is a constructive, aggressive approach which should minus no words in explaining to the masses what actually happened to Pakistan.

On their part, Nisar and Khosa have denied delivering political executions through their decisions. Khan maintains that he came to power after a struggle of nearly 24 years but he has accepted that the former generals Bajwa and Hameed were like pillars of strength for his party, including managing media, politics, lawmakers and votes in the upper and lower houses of parliament.

General (retd) Bajwa, through media confidantes, has said he offered every kind of support to the PTI government and Khan’s own ally Parvez Elahi has also publicly said that Bajwa and fellow generals “changed nappies” of Khan for nearly four years.

On its part, the PML-N is under criticism from its own supporters for adopting a laid back and passive approach since the ouster of Khan from power. The PML-N leadership is under attack from its supporters for not coming up with an aggressive position in response to its main rival PTI’s juggernaut, blaming the Pakistan military, the US and a “foreign conspiracy” to oust its government.

Elections

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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Elections

NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns

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Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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Pakistan

Maryam Nawaz honours ASP Shehr Bano For His Extraordinary Courage

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Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s nominee for chief minister of Punjab, honours young police officer Shehr Bano for displaying extraordinary bravery, insight, and courage.

According to Maryam Nawaz, if the female police officer hadn’t arrived in time, a catastrophe may have happened.

The country is proud of you, she said as she praised Shehr Bano.

According to Maryam Nawaz, Shehr Bano maintained humanity and the law in the face of pressure, numbers, and circumstances.

She stated that it is required of every police officer to contribute to the defence of individuals’ lives and property.

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