EXCLUSIVE: With Nawaz Sharif Set To Return, Accountability Of Heavyweights On Cards, Foresees Pirzada

Senior PML-N politician dispels the perception that the party wants polls deferred, predicts election season to get into high gear

EXCLUSIVE: With Nawaz Sharif Set To Return, Accountability Of Heavyweights On Cards, Foresees Pirzada

With a date for the return of the deposed prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif confirmed and election campaigning by political parties earnestly taking off, a senior party official foresees a 'heavy' few months in the political landscape of Pakistan, in which will heavily feature some heavyweights.

Moreover, the perception that the PML-N wants the elections to be deferred was also dispelled.

This was shared by former human rights minister and senior PML-N politician from South Punjab Riaz Hussain Pirzada, in an exclusive conversation with The Friday Times.

Discussing the political developments in the country, Pirzada said that he foresaw frenzied and unexpected activities in the coming weeks and months in various sectors of the country, especially in the political landscape.

He further saw the flag of accountability rising once more within some state institutions, such as the military. 

"This is for sure, now the general elections are not as far as exaggerated by many," the PML-N senior leader said while commenting on the possibility of delays in general elections.

With former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan after four years confirmed, Pirzada believed that the party head's introduction in the fray could completely turn the country's current political trajectory on its head.

"From what I am seeing, [PML-N] would most probably become the ruling party in the centre and Punjab," he predicted the post-election scenario.

Electoral riddle

With the country mired in a poly-crisis - particularly skyrocketing inflation, the blame for much of which many in the public have placed squarely at the feet of the outgoing coalition government led by the PML-N, Pirzada said the air is likely to change once Nawaz returns.

Pirzada said that political uncertainty hangs in the air like a thick fog. However, he said this would clear once the election festivities kick off in earnest with the return of Nawaz Sharif.

A veteran politician, Pirzada, said that, unlike past elections, the air in the country feels different this time after the dissolution of the national assembly and provincial assemblies last month. Asked to explain this difference, he said that politicians were actively engaged in electoral campaigns and public outreach this time. 

It would not be out of place to mention that in the current situation, with uncertainty ruling the roost, elections appear to be in sight.

One indication of this is that after years, political circles in the federal capital have fallen silent after parliamentarians left the capital for their respective native constituencies amidst growing uncertainty. 

Poll delays

On the topic that the PML-N was seeking a delay in polls, Pirzada dispelled the notion.

He added that the PML-N has a strong narrative about its election campaign.

However, Pirzada avoided offering any further specifics.

Major decisions

Pirzada said he foresees a period of heavy activity in the run-up to the general elections. He added that some key decisions are likely to be taken in several sectors of national importance; meanwhile, some decisions taken in the past may be overturned as the superior judiciary undergoes a change of guard later this week.

"Some decisions might be undone...He [Chief Justice Designate Qazi Faez Isa] has his own thoughts about matters," he commented, without going into the specifics of what may be implemented and what may be overturned.

The senior PML-N leader also commented on possible accountability in the near future.

"After some big changes, when election campaigning reaches its peak, I am also expecting the launch of accountability campaigns against corrupt practices of people," he commented, without going into specifics.

About the future of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pirzada was pessimistic about its future. He added that the blunders committed by the PTI chief would prove to be damaging for him.