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‘India taking advantage of Nawaz Sharif’s speeches’, says Jalil Sharaqpuri

PML-N Member of Punjab Assembly Jalil Sharaqpuri addressing a press conference in Lahore, on October 11, 2020. — Geo News screengrab

LAHORE: PML-N Member of Punjab Assembly Jalil Sharaqpuri, slammed his party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif on Sunday, saying that “India is taking advantage of [his] speeches” made from London via video.

Addressing a press conference, Sharaqpuri called Nawaz a “lota“, as his relationship with the PML-N continued to appear strained.

The lota — a plastic vessel — is used figuratively in Pakistani politics as an insulting term for people who switch parties and loyalties quite frequently.

Sharaqpuri is among five PML-N MPAs who earned the ire of the party leadership when they met Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar without obtaining permission.

“Did Nawaz not change his [loyalties]?” he asked, adding: “They are all lotas.”

“In my opinion, Nawaz’s speech (the first of multiple ones since) was inappropriate,” he said, adding that the PML-N supremo should speak in the interest of Pakistan.

Sharaqpuri said that while the party leadership makes decisions, a person should be able to express his reservations against them.

The lawmaker said that he was a member of the PML-N earlier and had left the party after “ideological differences with Nawaz”, following which he was with the PTI for eight years.

In the 2018 elections, “[PML-N lawmaker] Rana Tanveer asked me to opt for PML-N’s ticket and I agreed on the condition that I be allowed to hold on to my differences with Nawaz,” Sharaqpuri said.

He said whatever the party, he had come into politics “to serve the country”. “For me Pakistan comes before anything or anyone else.”

Talking about Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said that the premier has Pakistan’s interests at heart. “He raised the slogan of Islam in the United Nations.”

“If PML-N talks about honouring the vote, then respect should also be accorded to votes given to Imran Khan,” he said.

Reacting to an event that took place a few days ago, where PML-N workers placed a lota on top of his head, Sharaqpuri demanded PML-N to take action against those involved.

“I joined PML-N with good intentions, and I am still a part of it,” he added.

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