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PM Shehbaz to address nation on strategy devised in London meetings: Marriyum

Updated 14 May, 2022
<p>Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News</p>

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday said its PML-N’s right to visit London and claimed that the trip was a private visit, as the N-league received flak over its apparent decision to take dictation from the party’s supremo on the running the country’s matters.

She was speaking at a press conference, which was focused on the PTI’s Sialkot rally Saturday (today), in Islamabad. Marriyum added that there were many assumptions on the N-league delegation trip to the United Kingdom capital.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met his brother and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in London on Wednesday. He was accompanied by federal ministers, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Miftah Ismail, and Ayaz Sadiq.

Sources had said the meeting was called by the former premier to give the future political roadmap and the huddle would also have discussions on the next budget and elections.

Talking to reporters after the meeting in London, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif had said final decisions would be taken after consulting the coalition partners. Former president Asif Ali Zardari in his press conference on Wednesday also spoke about his consultations with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and made him aware of the electoral reforms.

Marriyum claimed that the London trip was earlier scheduled and it was due. She also alleged that the PML-N was the country’s biggest party while criticising the PTI for having a one-man party. Detailed meetings were held on inflation and reviving the economy.

She told reporters that PM Shehbaz would soon address the nation after taking the coalition partners on board on the London decisions. The premier had to visit UAE, she said, adding that the incumbent government would complete its tenure.

On PTI public gatherings, she said the N-league would have rallies in constituencies not just in cities. Reforms in the National Accountability Bureau were also an important agenda, she said in reply to a query.

Sialkot rally

The government on Saturday accused the former ruling party of creating chaos in the country by not adhering to the Christian community’s request to shift the venue for the Sialkot rally.

Police cracked down on PTI activists early Saturday for organising a public gathering in a Sialkot ground used by the area’s Christians without their consent. The Sialkot administration had dismissed the PTI’s request to hold the political gathering on the ground and gave them other options in the district. However, the PTI activists went ahead.

“The PTI refused to opt for dialogue and ignored the Christian community protest over the ground for the rally. The government’s responsibility is to safeguard the Christian community,” Marriyum said.

The information minister’s presser was focused on the police action on PTI’s Sialkot rally.

Elaborating on the details of the PTI public gathering, she said the PTI on May 9 sent permission for staging a public gathering in the CTI Boys High School ground. The community has maintained that the ground is used for funeral prayers, according to Marriyum, and advised the former ruling party to take another venue.

The police took action after the community protested against the PTI’s decision to stage a rally on the ground.