Javed Latif, a prominent leader from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who faced defeat in the 2024 general elections, raised concerns about the legitimacy of the electoral process and voiced his opinion that party supremo Nawaz Sharif should abstain from becoming the prime minister.
Latif questioned the credibility of the election results, alleging manipulations that impacted candidates from various political parties. He underscored the broader implications on the state’s reputation, referring to the press conference of Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi, popularly known as Pir Pagara, who openly rejected the recent election outcomes.
Reflecting on his electoral setback, Latif claimed to have received information 15-20 days before the election that a decision had already been made against him. He called for a halt to the process of prematurely declaring winners and losers, arguing that such practices undermine the democratic process.
In the National Assembly constituency NA-115, Sheikhupura III, the independent candidate Khurram Shahzad Virk, backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), clinched victory with 130,255 votes, while Latif finished as the runner-up with 94,144 votes, according to unofficial results.
Responding to inquiries about Nawaz Sharif’s potential candidacy for prime minister, Latif acknowledged that his opinion, given his electoral loss, might not carry significant weight. However, he expressed a belief that an unfavorable environment was being cultivated against Nawaz Sharif, casting doubt on the possibility of him assuming the prime ministership for the fourth time.
Latif’s remarks reflected broader concerns within the PML-N about the electoral process and its implications for the party’s leadership, echoing the sentiments of Pir Pagara and others who have raised questions about the transparency and fairness of the recent elections.