Maryam Says No One Should Have Any Objection If Anyone Talks about Implementation of Constitution: PML-N Says Make IMF Conditions Public
ISLAMABAD: As Maryam Nawaz on Monday described Imran Khan a fake and puppet prime minister, the PML-N demanded the government to reveal the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that the “public would know the deal we have made with the Fund”.
“No one should have any objection, if a person calls for implementing the Constitution,” she also made it clear.
Talking to media after a party meeting at the Parliament House, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there were a lot of suspicions regarding the conditions that the government had agreed to with the IMF.
Abbasi, who is also the PML-N senior vice-president, criticised the “sudden decision” made by the State Bank to raise the policy interest rate by 1.5 per cent, which, he said, would have an adverse affect on the business community and also lead to an increase in unemployment.
“In any country, if the rate increases even by 0.1 per cent, it becomes part of a public debate… Whereas here, the budget has not been announced, the deal with the IMF has not even been announced yet and the State Bank increased the policy interest rate by 1.5 per cent,” he said.
Abbasi announced that the PML-N had decided to propose an alternative economic strategy in order to protect the country from “this government’s anti-public policies”.
He said the PML-N would also put forward a set of demands that should be included in the budget. The demands include: increase in minimum wage to Rs20,000 in light of the rising inflation, reverting the power and gas tariffs as well as the prices of urea and diammonium phosphate (DAP) to that of May 31, 2018, no new taxes in the upcoming budget, and keeping existing tax rates at the current level.
Separately, Maryam said she did not accept the authority of a fake and puppet prime minister because he was an insult to the office.
She warned that the country would remain in crisis if the vote wasn’t respected – an indirect reference of her party’s slogan Vote Ko Izzat Do (Respect the Vote).
Maryam, who has recently been appointed as the PML-N vice-president, was talking to reporters after the high-level party meeting.
Monday’s meeting was held in the opposition leader’s chamber and attended by PML-N parliamentarians and the party’s central, provincial and district leadership. It was the first party meeting that she has attended since being appointed as one of the party’s vice presidents.
Maryam rubbished the notion that there were differences within the Sharif brothers, saying that Shahbaz Sharif considered Nawaz Sharif as his leader and shared the latter’s narrative.
“Shahbaz Sharif recognises Nawaz Sharif as his leader… Maybe his way of expressing [the narrative] is different,” she said.
In response to a question regarding PML-N’s weak role in the opposition, she hinted that the party would play a stronger role in the Parliament from now on.
About NAB, Maryam remarked that it could not see the properties of Aleema Khan and added that there won’t be any credibility left of the accountability process due to selected accountability.
“The fake prime minister and ministers tell the world who the NAB is going to arrest in the next five days,” she said.
The meeting comes a day after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hosted an “informal get together” over iftar for opposition party leaders, which general secretary Farhatullah Babar described as an opportunity for the young chairman to establish a rapport with other lawmakers.
The parties, after the dinner, announced their plans to “launch protests inside and outside the parliament after Eidul Fitr” and hold an All Parties Conference (APC) to “chalk out a joint strategy on how to tackle the problems facing Pakistan”.
Maryam and Hamza Shahbaz are also expected to go to Lalamusa to condole with PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira over his son’s death on Saturday.