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PMLN has no plans to topple PTI government in Punjab

Party officials have dismissed PML-N leader Rana Mashood’s assertion that Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is ultimately responsible for the fate of the provincial government in Punjab, disregarding PML-N leader Mashood’s allegations that the PTI will be overthrown in Punjab.

A day earlier, Mashood, a former provincial minister, asserted that Punjab’s PTI-led coalition government would be overthrown by the PML-N by the end of October.

The PML-N leader had stated that their strategy was already in place and that Pervaiz Elahi, the chief minister, was delaying the conclusion of the provincial assembly’s 41st session as a result.

Even worse, according to him, the provincial chief executive had challenged him to end the current meeting if he had the guts to do so, so he could find out for himself what they had in store for him.

Mashood’s assertion suggested that change was on the horizon, however the deadline would be treated with scepticism given the PTI chief’s concerns about covert efforts to topple his party’s leadership.

The statements stated by Mashood are different from those of PML-N leaders. There is no intention to overthrow the provincial administration, a party leader from Punjab who is also a member of the federal cabinet informed The Express Tribune under the condition of anonymity.

He mentioned that a case involving the choice to ignore the 25 ballots cast in favor of Hamza Shehbaz during the race for the chief minister is set to be heard on July 27. He continued by saying that the Punjabi government would be in terrible shape if the judgment was overturned.

He emphasized that nothing is planned, but he also warned that if the PTI-led government decided to march on Islamabad, it may be disastrous for the entire nation.

Imran is likely to choose October for his long march because, with Punjab under PTI control, the central government will have little ability to fend off the opposition party’s offensive. The PML-N leader claimed that Imran’s goal is to overthrow the central government before it has a chance to name the new army chief or to delay the process in some other way. This is where it becomes urgent, he continued. A forward bloc inside the party was another topic he discussed, though he acknowledged that there were many ifs and buts to the plan.

According to the party leader, there is a strategy to work with PML-Q leaders to guarantee a clear majority. He nevertheless described these two schemes as rumors that they had heard of.

He added that it appears the plan is to weaken PTI in Punjab in order to neutralize any threat they might pose should the former premier decide to march to Islamabad simultaneously from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

However, the PML-N leader acknowledged that he was not pleased with the proposal because any change in Punjab could harm the PML-reputation N’s among the general public by making them appear to be puppets and power-seekers.

Neha Ayub
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