–Shehbaz says discriminatory action against candidates during election campaign undesirable
–Nawaz laments ‘double standards’, says ‘a very dangerous game being played’
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Shehbaz Sharif and party supremo Nawaz Sharif expressed concerns over anti-graft proceedings against politicians, especially the PML-N’s, and termed the practice as ‘pre-poll’ rigging.
The arrest of PML-N nominee in NA-59 Qamarul Islam did not go down well with the party leadership, which called out the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its “prejudice” towards the PML-N.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Shehbaz Sharif demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.
“Discriminatory action against candidates of political parties during the election campaign is undesirable. We have presented ourselves for accountability before the court of people. Let the people’s court pass its verdict on July 25,” the PML-N chief said.
In his statement issued to the media, Shehbaz said that his party had failed such tactics through verdicts of the people’s court in the past as well. “It is unjust to hold our politics of service as an offence.”
“This arrest has put a question mark on transparent, free and fair conduct of election,” the PML-N president said. “Vindictive attitude of NAB against Nawaz-league are an effort to damage [its] electoral campaign,” he said, adding the state institutions should work for strengthening democracy while remaining within the ambit of law and the constitution.
Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif said that a new history of rigging was being created, warning of horrible consequences if it was not stopped.
Speaking to media outside the Harley Street Clinic in London, the former premier lamented that “dual standards” were being adopted and different verdicts were being announced for others in similar cases.
“Have a look at the record of past several months, only me and my affiliates have been the target,” he told media representatives.
Nawaz said that he had directed his party to stand by Qamarul Islam’s daughter and son, noting that Islam’s children submitted his nomination forms from NA-59 Rawalpindi.
The former premier also regretted disqualification of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former minister for privatisation Daniyal Aziz.
“What have NAB, returning officers and others been doing?” he asked, and said, “A very dangerous game is being played.”