PML-N announced big but peaceful welcome for Nawaz and Maryam on Friday

In this file photo, supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chants slogans after the sentencing decision against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, during a protest in Peshawar on July 6, 2018. (ABDUL MAJEED/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2018

PML-N announced big but peaceful welcome for Nawaz and Maryam on Friday

  • Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will arrive in Lahore on Friday after court verdict
  • Workers are directed to be peaceful, no confrontation: Khwaja Saad Rafique

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has directed its workers to reach the airport on time to receive the party’s leader Nawaz Sharif, with his daughter Maryam Nawaz, here on Friday evening.
Nawaz and Maryam have been sentenced by the accountability court in the Avenfield reference on the charges of owning assets beyond their means.
The court sentenced three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison and Maryam to seven years.
The third accused, Capt (Retd) Safdar, has been sent to one year’s jail. The court issued warrants for the three following the verdict.
The party has decided not to go violent on the arrival of the father and daughter, but to remain peaceful.
The decision was taken at the meeting of party leaders at its head office in the Model Town area of Lahore on Monday.
It is the second day in a row that the party leadership has gathered here and discussed strategies to welcome their leaders.
The Sunday meeting was chaired by party president, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz and former Punjab Chief Minister.
The meeting was attended by by senior party leaders, including former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq, former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and Shehbaz’s son, Hamza Shahbaz.
Another meeting was held at the same place on Monday afternoon which reviewed the arrangements of the “welcome.” It was decided that the party would advise its workers to remain peaceful.
“We will be peaceful and go to the airport to welcome our leaders. We need peace in the country; our workers will not behave harshly,” senior party leader and former railways minister Rafique told the media after the meeting.
A special welcome committee has been formulated that comprises: Party Chairman, Raja Zafarul Haq, Parvez Rasheed, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N city president, Parvez Malik, Amir Muqam, Shah Muhammad, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The party has directed all the ticket holders and party office bearers from the city to motivate its workers to reach the airport.
The party office-bearers from Na 125 and 126 held a special meeting with Hamza Shahbaz. They were advised that every person should bring 250 people with him to the airport on Friday. Similar meetings were held with the other constituencies’ leaders.
Political pundits say that the party is trying to motivate its workers by turning the return of Nawaz into an event and get political mileage on the opponents.
“The party has invited its workers to go to the airport to receive its leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N worker is depressed at the moment and calling him at the airport is an attempt to boost morale,” senior political analyst Javed Farooqi told Arab News.
PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb told the media after the meeting that the party would not adopt a policy of confrontation.
“We will be peaceful. No confrontation. We will not give any chance to anyone to get escape from the elections,” she said.


Captured Indian pilot’s return signified Pakistan’s 'mature response,' says military spokesman

Updated 29 October 2020

Captured Indian pilot’s return signified Pakistan’s 'mature response,' says military spokesman

  • Major General Babar Iftikhar responds to an opposition politician who claimed the government released the prisoner due to fear of war
  • The spokesman says Pakistan gave India a ‘bloody nose’ that still hurts

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan released an Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, after shooting down his fighter jet during an aerial dogfight over Kashmir in February 2019 to give peace a chance in the region, said the chief of the military’s media wing on Thursday, adding it was “misleading and disappointing” to attribute the country’s decision to anything but its “mature response” as a responsible state.
The statement of Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar came a day after former National Assembly speaker and senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that the government had released the Indian pilot due to fear of an imminent attack from India.
“A statement was given yesterday that tried to distort facts related to a national security issue,” Iftikhar said without naming anyone. “I am here to set the record straight.”
Addressing a news conference with “one-point agenda,” he said that Pakistan’s armed forces displayed their ability to respond to “Indian aggression” last year before releasing the captured pilot in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
“We gave them a bloody nose and it is still hurting,” he said while referring to Pakistan’s response to India’s violation of its airspace in February last year.
The former National Assembly speaker claimed on Wednesday that the government had asked parliamentary leaders to let Abhinandan go, predicting an attack from the country’s nuclear-armed neighbor.
However, Sadiq issued a clarification on Thursday, saying that Indian media was “misreporting” his statement.
Alluding to his words in the National Assembly, the DG ISPR said that the negative narrative was “directly affecting the national security” of Pakistan, adding that India was taking full advantage of it.
“This narrative is being used to minimize India’s defeat and loss,” he said. “It also amounts to creating undue controversy around Pakistan’s clear supremacy and victory over India, and I think this is not acceptable to any Pakistani.”
Asked about recent statements of opposition leaders against the military leadership, he said the armed forces were an organized institution and its rank and file could not be separated.
“No one can create differences between the rank and file of the armed forces,” he said. “There is complete unity and it will continue to remain that way.”
An 11-party opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), has accused the security establishment of meddling in politics and helping Prime Minister Imran Khan’s rise to power in the 2018 general elections.
“This political polarization will continue. It will increase. There may emerge a situation where there is a severe constitutional crisis,” Adnan Rehmat, a political analyst, told Arab News. “The opposition would never have targeted state institutions if the government had not subjected its leaders to undue and unfair pressure.”

PML-N leaders, however, denied that they wanted a clash with any institution to make political gains.
“Our protests and struggle against the government is purely democratic and constitutional. We don’t intend to clash with our state institutions,” Malik Abrar Ahmed, a senior PML-N leader, told Arab News.
The country’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, also held a meeting with the prime minister on Thursday to discuss “professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Army, internal and external security situation,” according to the PM Office.