Shehbaz asks Bilawal to be politically mature after PPP chief’s advice to Nawaz

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif speaks with journalists in Quetta on November 15, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X/@pmln_org
  • “Bilawal Bhutto is like a younger brother,” Shehbaz says.
  • He talks about working with Bilawal for 16 months.
  • Politician says crying and blaming will do nothing.

Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and former prime minister, termed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari a “young brother”, a day after the young politicians advised his party’s supremo to “focus on Lahore”.

“Bilawal Bhutto is like a younger brother. [We have] worked together for 16 months,” he said, citing their collaboration under the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government.

The senior politician’s comment came during a press conference in Quetta, where PML-N leaders, including Nawaz, gathered to meet with Balochistan-based political parties ahead of the elections in February 2024.

The former prime minister’s statement was made in response to his ex-foreign minister’s comment advising Nawaz to “focus on Lahore”, instead of looking towards other provinces in the country, particularly pointing at his interest in Sindh in the run-up to the upcoming general polls on February 8 next year.

“Mian sahib has been suggested to go to other provinces. I suggest he should stay in Lahore,” said the former foreign minister while addressing a presser in Mithi,” Bilawal said, addressing a presser in Mithi a day ago.

He added that the PML-N supremo should address issues that exist in Punjab instead of going towards other provinces. The PPP chief urged PML-N to do politics on its own instead of relying on others.

The party has begun swift efforts towards seat adjustment in the country’s southern province, as it eyes to form a coalition government in Sindh if it manages to secure majority votes. A PML-N delegation comprising its leadership visited Karachi last Sunday and shared their intention regarding seat adjustment.

“We should move towards mature politics. Crying and blaming will do nothing,” the PML-N president said, responding to a question on Bilawal’s statement.

The former premier urged politicians to reflect on their own actions and analyse where mistakes were made.

Shehbaz also maintained that the nation will accept whoever the people elect as the next prime minister, as his party is rallying for Nawaz’s name for the coveted post.

The veteran politico, on his Balochistan visit after meeting leaders of provincial political parties, resolved to bring prosperity to the province, which remains deprived of better infrastructure when compared to the rest of the country.

“We have to solve economic and social problems together,” he said, urging Baloch politician Sardar Lashkari Raisani — last associated with the Balochistan National Party (BNP) — to join PML-N.

He said Raisani joining the party will strengthen it. “The political elite has joined PML-N. We have met the leaders of Balochistan’s political parties have met. I am very satisfied.”

The former premier said his party’s leaders will sit down with Raisani to resolve all issues.

Nawaz leaves for Lahore after meeting workers in Quetta

Meanwhile, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif lambasted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for failing to develop Balochistan.

“Many people came and talk but nothing was done practically. There is a difference between them and us,” he said, addressing his party leaders and workers in Quetta.

Nawaz questioned the Imran Khan-led party for not bringing any change to the province since it came into power in 2018, despite making big claims.

He asked: “What changes did the change-makers bring in the last four years?”

Nawaz lamented that poverty, backwardness, economic misery would have ended if his party’s government wasn’t sent home in the past.

Expressing his condolences, the PML-N supremo also met with the father of a teenage martyr, who lost his life during the May 9 riots. “You arrange the lawyer, we will cooperate with you,” he assured him.

After the meeting with his party leaders and workers, Nawaz left for the airport. Others leaders including Shehbaz, PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz, Parvez Rashid and Maryam Aurangzeb also left for Lahore with the PML-N supremo.

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