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PTI Punjab reign will end within next few months: Rana Mashhood

03 October, 2018

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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan on Tuesday stirred a political storm, claiming that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led Punjab government might end in the next two months or so and would be replaced by his own party.

Speaking to a private television channel, the PML-N stalwart said that incumbent Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s reign will end within the next few months through either a public or judicial decision.

“The PTI in Punjab holds a small majority. Everyone knows how this majority was secured. Those who helped them in securing the majority have told me that false promises were made and they are now having a change of heart,” he added.

When asked who his party would field for the post of chief minister, Mashhood replied that Hamza Shehbaz was and would remain the PML-N’s candidate. The PML-N leader also spoke of the situation changing once the constituencies which had election petitions pending in tribunals and high courts were opened.

Mashhood categorically denied reports of a deal between the PML-N and institutions, stating that conversations had taken place between the party and officials in institutions through which it was discovered that there was a growing sentiment of PTI not being able to deliver. We are against deals and have always had a principled stance against deals.”

The PML-N leader also stated that there was a widespread sentiment that Shehbaz Sharif was the better choice. “He [Shehbaz Sharif] would have performed much better in these circumstances if he was the prime minister.”

His fellow PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah disowned Mashhood’s statement, saying: “Someone’s remarks in their individual capacity cannot be attributed to the party.”

He said that the PML-N would not support any non-democratic force. “We believe in democratic institutions and civilian supremacy; we want power through vote only,” he said, and reiterated his party’s stance that the July 25 polls were rigged heavily.

Similar remarks were made by PML-N’s spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb. She said that Mashhood’s statement was his own and could not be attributed to the party leadership.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Nafisa Shah in her reaction to Mashhood’s statement said: “Mashhood’s statement proved that the PML-N was seeking a deal with the establishment in the name of democracy.”

Meanwhile, Punjab Information Minister Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said that Mashhood was maligning establishment on behalf of Shehbaz Sharif.

He was speaking to the media to respond to PML-N’s leader statement. “The nation had awarded throne to Imran Khan through power of vote. Mashhood is trying to make general polls controversial,” asserted Chohan. Also, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor expressed disappointment over Mashhood’s statement.

The ISPR director general posted on Twitter that the attribution of a vested statement by Mashhood was baseless. He added that such irresponsible expressions hamper stability in the country.

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