PML-N’s Abbasi says not contesting general elections

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Expressing his displeasure over the policies adopted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the party’s senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has confirmed that he would not contest the upcoming general elections, slated to be held on February 8, 2024.

Abbasi had stepped down from the party office soon after the appointment of Maryam Nawaz as senior vice president and chief organiser.

The senior leader, however, rejects reports claiming differences with the party leadership. Abbasi said that he had resigned as the party’s senior vice president in an effort to give Maryam an “open field”.

In an interview with Voice of America (Urdu), Abbasi said: “I am not contesting elections as I do not want to be part of the possible fault [that could emerge] after the election.”

Blasting the mainstream political parties, the senior leader said that the major parties did nothing but increase the suffering of the masses.

“The core responsibility of political parties is to determine the way forward but they are not working on it.”

New party?

Hinting at launching a new political party, the PML-N leader said that certainly there would be “a space for a new thought and a new political party”.

Responding to a question, the former prime minister said that he was not angry with anyone, adding that Maryam was like his younger sister.

“But I can’t agree with the vision adopted by my party.”

He further said that his party’s thinking revolved around the formation of a government, adding that they had to bring change in the mindset.

Nowadays, politics is done to gain power, and elections are contested for it, he added. The politics aimed at coming into power will not work furthermore, he predicted.

MQM-P alliance

Reacting to the PML-N-MQM-P alliance, the former premier said that the electoral alliance was not beneficial for both parties at the local level.

“Where there is MQM-P, there are not enough voters of PML-N to benefit it.”

He further said that the sanctity of the vote means the country would be run as per the Constitution.

“Problems will develop when you become part of an unconstitutional matter,” he said and asked Nawaz Sharif to tell the people about his thinking.

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