LAHORE (Web Desk): PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday warned the government that it will have to “pay a heavy price” for the way the PML-N leaders were “assaulted” a day earlier outside parliament.
Violence broke out on Saturday as a session of the National Assembly convened for a vote of confidence in the prime minister. PTI and PML-N members exchanged hot words which escalated to an exchange of physical blows.
Maryam’s words came as she addressed a media conference following a meeting between the party leadership.
She said a discussion took place on the long march, the Daska by-election, the NA-249 by-election and the candidate to field in the race.
Maryam, speaking of the incident outside parliament, said: “The party will not take this lying down. The disrespect shown to senior leadership will not be tolerated.”
The PML-N vice president denounced the assault on Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Miftah Ismail, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Khurram Dastagir and Musadik Malik which took place “in front of cameras” and said there was “great anger” within the party ranks over the matter.
“You can keep this lecture you like to give us on ethics and morality to yourselves,” she said addressing the government.
“You will have to pay a heavy price for this. If you slap us twice, we will slap you ten times,” she added.
Maryam said that the “thuggery” displayed, especially with Marriyum Aurangzeb, “is a debt on each PML-N member — one that they know full well how to pay”.
She then proceeded to discuss in greater detail what had been deliberated in the meeting of senior party leadership.
“The political landscape that has developed since the prime minister took his fake trust vote was discussed in great detail, as was the Chairman Senate polls,” she said.
Maryam claimed that it was “everyone’s consensus” that the way “the vote was forcibly taken yesterday with a sword put to everyone’s throats”, the exercise “has no legal standing, no constitutional standing, no political standing and no moral standing”.
She cast aspersions on PTI lawmakers having voted against party lines and in favour of opposition-backed candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani in the race for the Islamabad general Senate seat and then “all of a sudden” voting for the prime minister two days later.
“What prompted such a thing, that they changed their decision?” she asked, before answering her own query, saying: “The decision did not change [on its own]. It was forcibly changed.”
Maryam said that the night before the no-trust vote, the “entire Parliament Lodges had been turned into a bunker”, “as if it is North Waziristan”.
“The entire night you kept a watch on your MNAs with drone cameras,” she claimed.
The PML-N vice president said it was “unprecedented” that a leader, despite being in power, had been voted against by his own party members.
She said this is besides the “lack of trust being expressed from the people of all four provinces”.
Maryam went on to claim that the party is “in touch with two MNAs” who “were unwilling to cast their vote but were forcibly kept in a container in a Golra compound”.
The PML-N said that the prime minister “knows that if he did not do any of this, he would not have won”.
She said that all of this only means that “Imran Khan, you know that your time is up. You know that it is over for you”.
Maryam also announced PML-N’s Miftah Ismail’s candidacy for the NA-249 by-election to be held in Karachi.
She said all other matters pertaining to the Senate chairman election will be announced following the Pakistan Democratic Movement meeting convened tomorrow.
The PML-N vice president also regretted that the prime minister had spoken out against the Election Commission of Pakistan and claimed that there were placards held by PTI “goons” yesterday that had “naked words of abuse” displayed against the Chief Election Commissioner.
She said the PML-N had always criticised character, not institutions, and “within the norms of decency”.