ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and top PML-N leaders departed for London to meet party supremo Nawaz Sharif amid reports of a “big decision” by the government related to subsides on petroleum products, Geo News reported Wednesday, citing sources.
According to the sources, federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif and Khurram Dastagir are accompanying the premier.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi confirmed that the London huddle would talk about the serious economic situation and attempt to find a way forward.
Speaking to the journalists, Nawaz said he looked forward to meeting Shahbaz and others. He said the PTI government had left Pakistan in a deep economic mess and the meeting would discuss the current situation as well as the way forward.
He said that thankfully Imran Khan’s PTI government was not there anymore after being ousted in a vote of no-confidence.
Nawaz said: “The PTI government has created a crisis in every sphere of the country. Imran Khan’s government harmed Pakistan in every possible manner, be it social, economic, cultural or political issues. Nothing like this ever happened before in the history of Pakistan. In the next election, the PTI’s chapter will be closed forever.”
When asked about former prime minister Imran Khan making references to Mir Jafar and treachery, Nawaz said: “Imran Khan has caused an unprecedented havoc in the country and the kind of destruction he has left behind has never been seen before. Thankfully, he is gone and his destructive ways have been stopped.”
Meanwhile, Ishaq Dar said the meeting in London was of critical importance as big decisions needed to be taken in relation to the economy.
Dar ruled out early elections and said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had already said that elections before October were not possible.
Ex-prime minister Abbasi said that PM Shahbaz and other party leaders had requested Nawaz Sharif to call a consultative meeting.
According to sources, Nawaz has to consult the party leadership over some important issues over which he has reservations and the PML-N is expected to make a “big decision,” which is why he had rejected a proposal to have an online meeting.
Party sources said that during the meeting, a discussion on the strategy on the prices of petroleum products will be held with Nawaz Sharif and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
The discussion holds special importance as a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to begin talks with Pakistani officials in Doha on May 18.
Moreover, decisions about power-sharing, the next general election, and the Punjab cabinet will also be taken during the meeting.