Former PPP leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar has claimed that the N-league and the head of multi-party confab have approached allies with a plan to get a one-year extension for the incumbent assembly.
“But they have not given any response,” he said at Asma Shirazi show Faisla Aap Ka on Monday. “They have also approached the parties that are not in the government.”
Khokhar supported such claims with inside information available to him which added that the coalition partners were “shocked” to hear the plans of the PML-N and PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Earlier in the day, Fazl hinted at delaying elections while responding to a query in Lahore. “PDM is not an electoral alliance, shall we leave this country to new riots or let the country stand on its feet? I said a discussion could be held on this, talks can be held which is good for the country,” he said.
Khokhar was of the view that such a step would be an “unpopular decision”. He added that it would not be acceptable to the people.
The former PPP leader added that despite PTI chief Imran Khan’s acceptability in the establishment was near to none, still their voter has not changed. He blamed the incumbent government’s incompetence for the “uncertain” economic situation.
After quitting the Sindh-ruling party in 2022, Khokhar has been conducting seminars under the title ‘Reimagining Pakistan’, along with PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Miftah Ismail.
Abbasi was another guest on the show.
He started off by saying that the incumbent government was an opposition alliance.
Abbasi, who served as the prime minister after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the court, said the government was entitled to prosecute the perpetrators of May 9 events.
“If you do [prosecute] there will be bad consequences and if you won’t it will be further worse,” he said and advised the government to gather evidence to try civilians in courts.
“No one can stop you from prosecution. If your prosecution is weak then it [May 9 events] will continue to happen. It is the government’s duty to prosecute [the suspects],” he added.
Khokhar agreed with his fellow politician, saying that there should be a difference between prosecution and persecution. He blamed the police’s “incompetence” in PTI leader Yasmin Rashid’s case. She was acquitted by Lahore’s ATC in the Jinnah House attack case.
Police should have presented records of geo-fencing, and videos, he added and lamented that the prosecution did not bring up the evidence.
PML-N leader Abbasi said: “If you cannot prosecute then you don’t have any writ.”
When asked if PTI chief Imran Khan could be tried under the Army Act, he replied it can only if there was evidence to support claims that Khan was involved in the conspiracy.
There was a moment of laughter in the show when the host asked Abbasi about the possibility of delayed elections. The PML-N leader responded to the query by saying that there would be a problem as Fazl was the PDM president and he was the secretary general.
“You don’t have a choice to delay polls. This should not be a choice, and should not be,” he said, “if the economy will be better by not holding polls then it should not be held. If you did not make a way before polls then polls will be meaningless. All stakeholders should sit together.”
He stressed the need for sitting together to resolve the matters.
Abbasi said that radical reform was needed to steer the country out of the crisis and have a long-term solution. “This is a challenge for political parties. On one side you have to run the country and on the other, you have to bring reforms,” he added.
“People have tried everyone. This is a failure of the whole system, not just political parties. The system has led us here,” the PML-N leader said, “today you all have to sit together and decide on future agenda, a way forward. There will be a breaking point where people will take to streets.”