PML-N announced big but peaceful welcome for Nawaz and Maryam on Friday

In this file photo, supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chants slogans after the sentencing decision against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, during a protest in Peshawar on July 6, 2018. (ABDUL MAJEED/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2018

PML-N announced big but peaceful welcome for Nawaz and Maryam on Friday

  • Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will arrive in Lahore on Friday after court verdict
  • Workers are directed to be peaceful, no confrontation: Khwaja Saad Rafique

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has directed its workers to reach the airport on time to receive the party’s leader Nawaz Sharif, with his daughter Maryam Nawaz, here on Friday evening.
Nawaz and Maryam have been sentenced by the accountability court in the Avenfield reference on the charges of owning assets beyond their means.
The court sentenced three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison and Maryam to seven years.
The third accused, Capt (Retd) Safdar, has been sent to one year’s jail. The court issued warrants for the three following the verdict.
The party has decided not to go violent on the arrival of the father and daughter, but to remain peaceful.
The decision was taken at the meeting of party leaders at its head office in the Model Town area of Lahore on Monday.
It is the second day in a row that the party leadership has gathered here and discussed strategies to welcome their leaders.
The Sunday meeting was chaired by party president, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz and former Punjab Chief Minister.
The meeting was attended by by senior party leaders, including former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq, former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and Shehbaz’s son, Hamza Shahbaz.
Another meeting was held at the same place on Monday afternoon which reviewed the arrangements of the “welcome.” It was decided that the party would advise its workers to remain peaceful.
“We will be peaceful and go to the airport to welcome our leaders. We need peace in the country; our workers will not behave harshly,” senior party leader and former railways minister Rafique told the media after the meeting.
A special welcome committee has been formulated that comprises: Party Chairman, Raja Zafarul Haq, Parvez Rasheed, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N city president, Parvez Malik, Amir Muqam, Shah Muhammad, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The party has directed all the ticket holders and party office bearers from the city to motivate its workers to reach the airport.
The party office-bearers from Na 125 and 126 held a special meeting with Hamza Shahbaz. They were advised that every person should bring 250 people with him to the airport on Friday. Similar meetings were held with the other constituencies’ leaders.
Political pundits say that the party is trying to motivate its workers by turning the return of Nawaz into an event and get political mileage on the opponents.
“The party has invited its workers to go to the airport to receive its leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N worker is depressed at the moment and calling him at the airport is an attempt to boost morale,” senior political analyst Javed Farooqi told Arab News.
PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb told the media after the meeting that the party would not adopt a policy of confrontation.
“We will be peaceful. No confrontation. We will not give any chance to anyone to get escape from the elections,” she said.

Pakistan ‘wants to play its role’ for peace in Middle East – FO

Updated 12 January 2020

Pakistan ‘wants to play its role’ for peace in Middle East – FO

  • Work on foreign minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States being done
  • Pakistan’s strong relations with regional countries has made it an important player

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated on Thursday that the country was going to play its role in restoring peace in the Middle East by working with other international stakeholders in the region.

“Pakistan welcomes de-escalation and wants to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in the region. We have seen that indication in United States President [Donald] Trump’s speech and are evaluating its contours,” the country’s foreign office spokesperson, Aisha Farooqui, said in her weekly media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

She said that Pakistan’s geographical position, along with its strong relations with regional countries and the United States, had made it a significant player in the Middle East.

“Pakistan has maintained that war is not the solution to any issue and made it clear that it will not become part of any regional conflict,” she said.

The spokesperson noted that Islamabad had enhanced its efforts to defuse tensions in the region and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had contacted his counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and many other important states in this connection.

“All the international players, including Saudi Arabia, have said that the region cannot afford another war and asked for restraint from both parties [the US and Iran]. It’s a collective objective of all countries to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East,” she said.

Commenting on the foreign minister’s upcoming visit to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the US, she said that “work on these tours has already started and they will take place as soon as dates are finalized with the respective countries.”

“We are very mindful for our brotherly and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other regional countries. Pakistan and the US also enjoy longstanding relations and have contacts with each other through multiple forums including political and military leadership,” Farooqui said, adding that the foreign office had established a task force to continuously monitor the situation in the Middle East and inform the government about it along with its suggestions on a daily basis.

The spokesperson expressed hope that recent developments in the Middle East would not affect the ongoing Afghan peace process.

“Pakistan hopes that progress made on Afghan peace process will not come to a halt and the world community will not lose its focus as a result of the ongoing tensions in the Middle East,” she said.

Asked about the safety of Pakistani nationals in Iraq, she said the country’s embassy in Baghdad was on the alert to deal with any emergency situation.

“We are concerned about the safety of Pakistani citizens in Iraq and have issued an advisory in this regard. We have also instructed our mission in Baghdad to remain vigilant to deal with any emergency,” Farooqui said.