ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) once again got embroiled in a bitter dispute on Monday as the former allies exchanged barbs, seeking to “expose historical errors” committed by their rivals.
PML-N’s Senator Siddiqui, in a scathing criticism of the PPP, stated that the party was actually decimated from Punjab in 1985, not in 2013 as claimed.
He said that during the 2013 elections, Zardari, along with General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as the army chief, had significant influence. Moreover, the entire caretaker setup was nominated by the PPP, with the former caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and the caretaker chief ministers of all four provinces being proposed and recommended by the party.
He said that former army chief Kayani had previously worked closely with both the late Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari for several years, and consequently, Zardari rewarded him with a three-year extension.
Moreover, Siddiqui claimed that during the 2013 elections, the PML-N received no support from any corner. “I fail to understand how Bilawal Bhutto can claim there was a plan to oust the PPP from Punjab in 2013,” stated Senator Siddiqui.
While acknowledging Bilawal Bhutto’s stature as a young politician, Siddiqui asserted that he may not be completely aware of the facts. He highlighted that in the entire history of Pakistan, only the 2013 elections were declared as free and fair by the Supreme Court.
When questioned about his criticism of the current caretaker government, Senator Siddiqui suggested that it could be part of the PPP’s strategy, possibly to pre-empt a potential defeat. He opined that political tensions often run high during elections and should be viewed as a routine matter.
Regarding the recent decision by the court to strike down the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments, Siddiqui remarked that it would not affect the planned return of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan on October 21.
‘PML-N has collapsed in Punjab’
Reacting to the PML-N leader, PPP’s Senator Quratulain Marri took a jab at him, challenging his selective memory.
Referring to Siddiqui’s remarks about the year 1985, Marri questioned how he could conveniently forget about the year 1988.
She emphasised that people cannot be deceived with empty slogans like “Jag Punjabi Jag.”
Taking the opportunity to dig deeper, Marri also questioned Siddiqui’s sudden fear of Bilawal Bhutto. She emphasised that Punjab is the heart of Pakistan and pondered why the arrival of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should be a cause for concern for the PML-N leader.
Marri reminded Siddiqui that the PPP had emerged victorious in the recent by-elections in Karachi and Multan. She claimed that the PML-N has collapsed in Punjab and stressed that the people of Punjab are brave and have no tolerance for cowards.