Dar’s appointment as deputy PM ‘matter of honour’, not ‘favouritism’: Sanaullah

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After Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar’s appointment as deputy prime minister drew criticism from opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah claimed on Monday that his party-led government’s decision was a “matter of honour” and not based on “favouritism”.

“Impression of the PML-N becoming a family party is not true,” the former interior minister said while speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath on Monday, rejecting the PTI allegations of nepotism against the Sharifs for distributing key ministries among family members.

The allegations were levelled after Dar was given the deputy PM’s portfolio by the incumbent government, who is a close relative and aide to Nawaz Sharif — the PML-N supremo.

Sanaullah admitted that there was “bitterness within the party” for not appointing Dar as the finance minister. He signalled that the ruling party found a way to compensate Dar for the finance minister’s portfolio.

“Dar deserves this post even if he is not a close relative of the Sharif family,” Sanaullah said, adding, “Our party and the government deliberated to honour Dar in this way.”

It was a matter of politically honouring someone through deputy premiership, he claimed.

Regarding his own appointment as minister, the PML-N stalwart said that Nawaz would decide about giving a ministry to him after concluding his China visit. Nawaz will hold consultations with the party’s senior leadership regarding his ministry, Sanaullah added.

Commenting on the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman’s speech in the National Assembly, Sanaullah invited the Imran Khan-founded party to prove its majority and take over the reins of the country.

He was responding to Fazl’s statement in which he blamed the incumbent coalition government of the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for stealing the mandate of the former ruling party in a veiled manner.

In his speech on the National Assembly’s floor earlier today, Fazl backed PTI senior leader Asad Qaiser’s demand for granting the right to the latter’s party to organise public gatherings, terming it the PTI’s “constitutional right”.

Addressing Fazl’s concerns after he unveiled a “million marche” plan against the incumbent government, former interior minister said that the JUI-F would not face any crackdown.

He added that the politician-cum-cleric was “a friend of tough times” of the PML-N and they would find a way to resolve differences via dialogues with Maulana Fazl — a veteran politician who headed a multi-party alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) which successfully ousted the former prime minister Imran Khan’s government in 2022.

Earlier today, the JUI-F supremo announced that his party planned to organise a “million march” in Karachi and Peshawar on May 2 and 9, respectively. He asked the government to refrain from creating hurdles in the JUI-F’s upcoming power shows.

He further said that his party was ready to start a new public movement against the prevailing governance system which is “unacceptable” to them.

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