PML-N, PPP reject ban on rallies

Bilawal, Maryam discuss rigging on phone: Nafisa, Rana Sana say govt decision aimed at against Opposition only

By: News Desk      Published: 03:35 PM, 17 Nov, 2020
PML-N, PPP reject ban on rallies
File photo.

As two main opposition parties rejected the results of Gilgit-Baltistan elections, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have had a telephonic contact and decided to hold a meeting soon, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Bilawal said the opposition parties’ ability to bag more votes than the ruling alliance despite a rigged process was a proof of PTI’s unpopularity.

With both sides condemning the rigging, Maryam said the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were standing by the opposition’s narrative.

The latest development came as the sit-in staged by the PPP in Gilgit against the rigging in the November 15 elections has entered its second day.

And in Karachi, PPP leader Nafisa Shah repeated the stance that the elections were rigged in Gilgit-Baltistan and announced that they would not accept the federal government’s decision to ban large gatherings as the move was aimed at stopping the opposition rallies

The events in Peshawar and Multan would go ahead as per plan, Nafisa said at a press conference where she was accompanied by another party leader Shehla Raza.

Meanwhile, PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah told reporters in Lahore that the Ant-Corruption Establishment’s recent crackdown on his party members and the ban on political gatherings due to the rise in the coronavirus cases was a drama. The arrests won’t affect anything, he remarked.

Similarly, senior party leader Khawaja Saad Rafique said any dialogue would be held from the platform of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), adding that everyone should carry his sins himself.

He also wondered where the votes of the thousands of people had gone who attended the PML-N rallies in Gilgit-Baltistan.

On Monday, Bilawal said that his elections had been stolen and the robbery was unacceptable.

Later, he told a press conference in Gilgit that the results were changed overnight and his party's mandate had been stolen. Voting was not held at all polling stations in the GBLA-2 [one of the constituencies in the region’s capital], he added.

Bilawal warned that powers that be must not push his party to take extreme decisions and vowed to continue their protest against rigging.

Earlier, the PPP chairman, in his address to the protesters outside the Gilgit DC’s office, said Bilawal said at least three seats were clearly snatched from the PPP. “We will not allow the puppet, the selected and the selectors to steal the elections. The selectors knew that the PTI does not exist in Gilgit-Baltistan. Everyone knows that people of Gilgit-Baltistan are with the PPP,” he maintained. 

“If the people are not given the snatched seats, they will go to Islamabad and I will lead the protest,” he said.

Also on Monday, PML-N General-Secretary Ahsan Iqbal said, “Rigged election GB [Gilgit-Baltistan] is REJECTED.”

Addressing a presser in Gilgit, Ahsan said when he visited the chief election commissioner to complaint about pre-poll rigging, the reply was that no one was listening to him.

He had stated in August this year that the federal government had planned political engineering in Gilgit-Baltistan through agencies, the PML-N leader recalled.

Shahbaz Gill on GB polls

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill has said people of Gilgit-Baltistan have altogether rejected the corruption, fake narrative and chicanery of Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Shahbaz Gill took to Twitter and said ‘culprit Maryam’ tried to become ‘Halima Sultan’ and committed corruption as a national duty while ‘parchi chairman Bilawal’ tried to mislead people regarding 12 seats secured after deal with establishment.

On the other hand, Information Minister Shibli Faraz urged the opposition parties to shun the bad tradition of not accepting election defeat saying this posture is contrary to democratic norms.

In his tweets, he said those delivering lectures on democracy should adopt democratic conduct. The minister said the emotional statements of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari are devoid of facts and logic.

Shibli Faraz expressed his surprise that those raising slogans regarding the sanctity of vote are not ready to respect the ballot of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Shibli Faraz reminded that all the surveys showed the lead of PTI in Gilgit-Baltistan with Prime Minister Imran Khan as the most popular leader.