Punjab caretaker CM rejects Shehbaz’s claims of biased behaviour

  • Shehbaz alleges caretaker govt ‘dancing to PTI’s tunes’, created hurdles in PML-N’s July 13 rally

LAHORE: Soon after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said the Punjab caretaker government created hurdles in the way of party’s July 13 rally and arrested dozens of PML-N workers, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi termed the government’s actions “need of the hour” and rejected Shehbaz’s allegations.

Speaking to a private media channel, Askari said the situation on July 13 [Nawaz Sharif’s return] was not as “dramatic as the PML-N was portraying”.

“Need of the hour was to maintain the law and order situation in the province, especially in Lahore. One should keep in mind that a court had found Nawaz guilty and it was the state’s responsibility to enforce the court’s decision,” he said, adding that the government couldn’t have allowed Nawaz’s supporters to enter the airport.

The chief minister also said that contrary to the claims being made by PML-N, there were no more than ten thousand people on the streets upon Nawaz’s arrival.

Earlier, while addressing a press conference in Peshawar, PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif had said PML-N workers took to the streets to welcome party supremo Nawaz Sharif but the caretaker government arrested hundreds of them, not letting them get a glimpse of their leader. The government, he added, included sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the cases registered against the supporters.

He also alleged that the interim Punjab government was “following orders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)”.

“Punjab’s interim government is dancing to the tunes of PTI, while the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) continues to be a quiet bystander,” Shehbaz said.

The PML-N president further alleged that the proceedings of the anti-graft body, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), were only being conducted to “push PML-N against the wall” and many of its electables were being pressurised to join other parties.

However, expressing confidence in his party’s standing with the voters, Shehbaz said PML-N was due to win the polls if they were held in a transparent manner.

“Nobody attended Imran Khan’s rally in Lahore yesterday,” he said, adding that despite heavy rainfall in Attock, PML-N’s rally, on the other hand, was attended by a huge crowd.

The PML-N president vowed to make Pakistan similar to Turkey and Malaysia if given a chance by the public in the upcoming polls.

“Imran neither established schools or colleges nor forensic labs. A private hospital [Rehman Institute] was established in Peshawar and a picture of it was circulated [by Imran] to take credit. Now, is that not a lie? How will the country absorb this fraud?” Shehbaz said.

Continuing to lash out at his party’s political rival, the PML-N president said PTI had destroyed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).