Nawaz Sharif sticks to 'aggressive' election campaign
PML-N to enter elections with assertive narrative centered on strict accountability
LAHORE (Muhammad Hasan Raza) – Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has opted for an assertive narrative of strict accountability for his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), to compete in the upcoming general elections slated for January next year, instead of adopting a conciliatory approach, sources familiar with the party's discussions in London on Friday have disclosed.
Insiders revealed that during the impromptu party gathering in London, two options were considered, but it was ultimately decided that the party would campaign aggressively with a message centred on strict accountability.
Nawaz Sharif made the final decision, emphasising that Pakistan's path to progress could only be realised by holding all those involved in the 2017 conspiracy accountable.
He stated that while he would have exercised restraint if the conspiracy had targeted him personally, he could not tolerate it when it concerned the country and its millions of citizens.
The PML-N head held the conspirators responsible for the country's economic woes, and called for bringing them in the dock for prosecution.
Nawaz Sharif’s stance received strong support from those present at the London session, insiders confirmed, adding that Shehbaz Sharif, the president of the PML-N, could not convince his elder brother and party chief to adopt a softer stance.
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PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who also backed Nawaz Sharif's stance, argued that allowing the conspirators to go unpunished would further harm the country.
Maryam believed that a strict accountability process was essential for the country to function effectively and to prevent the repetition of past events the country has experienced these 76 years.
During the session, Shehbaz Sharif discussed the concerns within the party about holding the conspirators accountable, while Maryam Nawaz conveyed some reservations of senior party leaders. Nawaz Sharif assured that he would address these concerns.
The meeting decided that Nawaz Sharif and PML-N candidates would put forward the demand for accountability of the conspirators during the party's election campaign. A committee would also be formed to prepare the party's narrative and manifesto.
As the London huddle drew towards conclusion, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif noted that no party member had objected to Nawaz Sharif's leadership, confirming that Nawaz Sharif would be the unanimous PML-N candidate for the prime minister's position.
Participants in the meeting suggested that, upon Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan, the party incorporated an economic relief plan for the underprivileged segments of society into its narrative.
In his concluding remarks, Nawaz Sharif stressed the importance of addressing both the demand for strict accountability of the conspirators responsible for the country's dire situation and the pursuit of economic goals.
Before Nawaz Sharif's return, according to insiders, the PML-N has decided to hold seven processions in Lahore to mobilise the public in welcoming him back to Pakistan. These gatherings will be addressed by both Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz Sharif.