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Pakistan: Imran Khan's PTI dubs Maryam Nawaz as 'fake CM' of Punjab province

Maryam Nawaz created history on Monday after becoming the first woman Chief Minister of Pakistan's Punjab province. However, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf maintained that Maryam won through rigged votes and denounced her as a 'fake CM'.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Islamabad Published on: February 27, 2024 20:36 IST
Pakistan, Maryam nawaz, Punjab CM, PTI
Image Source : AP PML-N senior vice president Maryam Nawaz, elected as the CM of Punjab province

Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan's beleaguered Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) criticised the election of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz as the Chief Minister of Punjab province, accusing people of the "unconstitutional Punjab Assembly" of handpicking a "fake CM" through rigged results, reported the Express Tribune. 

Maryam, the 50-year-old senior vice president of the PML-N party and daughter of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, made history on Monday by becoming the first-ever woman chief minister of Pakistan's most populous Punjab province, a development described by her party as a "giant leap" for the country. 

PTI has been claiming that Maryam had lost her seat with a margin of over 800 votes in the February 8 polls besides the party's over 100 Punjab Assembly seats that had been stolen. "Maryam became the Chief Minister with the help of fake form 47 (result). The fake chief minister, who was well versed in lies, deceit and forgery, started the journey to fool the masses after taking the oath by sudden visits like her uncle Shahbaz Speed," said PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan.

Hasan remarked that Maryam had lost her seat with a margin of 800 votes but was 'imposed' on the people of Punjab after she was fraudulently selected through the votes of the 'fake' representatives of the 'fake' House. He said the people of Punjab would hold the "mandate thieves" family accountable, who considered Pakistan as their fiefdom, and they would not rest until they retook their mandate.

'Maryam "imposed" on Punjab province'

Earlier, a PTI spokesperson alleged the "Calibri Queen" (Maryam) suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the people in the general elections and was "imposed" on the people of Punjab through rigged results.  The party alleged the Sharif family, notorious for years of plundering the country and stashing wealth abroad, was once again in action in Punjab, trying to set the stage for another round of looting. 

The spokesperson stated that a woman who failed to secure a single seat, even amid alleged state oppression and rigging, should reconsider her aspirations against the people's will. He accused Maryam Nawaz, who has been convicted in corruption cases worth billions, of prioritising the Sharif family's wealth over the welfare of the nation.

Meanwhile, addressing a news conference outside the Punjab Assembly, PTI leader Shaukat Basra said that the ‘fraudsters’ not only stole the people’s mandate, but they were treating the voters ruthlessly and also demanded the immediate resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

Maryam's promises as Punjab CM

The PML-N leader defeated Rana Aftab of the PTI-backed SIC after the latter walked out to win the chief ministerial elections for the politically crucial Punjab province, home to 120 million people. Maryam paid a visit to her mother’s grave at Jati Umra before going to the Punjab Assembly, where the election for the post of chief minister took place.

The PML-N leader said she had seen hard times like imprisonment but was thankful to her opponents for making her strong. "But I will not seek revenge," she said, indirectly referring to former Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar. Maryam received 220 votes and won the chief ministerial elections for the politically crucial Punjab province, home to 120 million people.

To win the chief minister's election, a candidate needs to win the backing of the majority, which is 187 members in the House that currently has 327 seats, according to Geo News. The newly-elected chief minister, Maryam, enjoyed the support of the majority in the House. The PTI-backed SIC's 103 members have taken oath from its total 113 lawmakers in the Punjab Assembly. Maryam was backed by PML-N allies, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), and the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP). 

The walkout by at least 103 SIC members -- including the PTI-backed independent lawmakers -- was staged after the SIC nominee for chief minister, Aftab, was not permitted to speak at the point of order. "In today's session, only elections will be held for the chief minister. You cannot speak in today's session," Speaker Khan told the SIC candidate as he tried to speak up.

Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi indicted in graft case

Meanwhile, the PTI's founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were indicted in another corruption case on Tuesday, on charges that they allegedly received land as a bribe during his premiership. The latest indictment is related to Al-Qadir Trust, which is a non-governmental welfare organization set up by Khan and his third wife Bushra Bibi in 2018 when he was still in office.

Khan, 71, has been in jail since August in connection with other cases, and has previously denied the allegations. He had already been convicted in two cases on corruption charges, that disqualified him from taking part in politics for 10 years. The PTI condemned the indictment. "Trials conducted behind prison walls, only meant to pave way for miscarriage of justice," it said in a statement.

ALSO READ | Maryam Nawaz regains her ‘lost glory’, becomes first woman CM of Pakistan's Punjab province

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