LAHORE - PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz has said that after coming into power, the PML-N will take along all political parties and stake holders to steer the country out of crisis.

The PML-N will form a national agenda in consultation with all as the government requires hard and prompt decisions to overcome the troubled situation, said Hamza Shahbaz in a joint interview with TheNation and Nawa-E-Waqt on Friday.

He said: “For revamping the economy, ending loadshedding and countering terrorism, the next government will need to take swift action and concrete measures. The PML-N has a solid programme to address the loadshedding and other problems. Its experienced and dedicated team is ready to implement its plans.”

On the Election Commission, Hamza replied that the neutral and impartial interim set up and the EC reinforced democracy in the country. “Although in certain areas more work needed to be done, by and large the EC is performing well and discharging its responsibilities in a befitting manner. It is encouraging that the EC was taking action on the violation of the code of conduct.” He scorned any call for postponement of elections and said ‘the masses are looking forward to bring a change with their votes’.

On governors, he said that his party wanted that governors in four provinces be changed but it was not inflexible to the demand, considering the conduct of polls a bigger goal. However, he said for the sake of impartiality, governors should have been changed as two sons of the Punjab governor, violating the principle of impartiality, were contesting polls.

The PML-N leader said that PPP’s advertisement against the PML-N leadership was out of frustration as if it were already accepted defeat in elections.

He claimed that the PPP was asking its voters to vote PTI ‘which in return would provide cover to the corruption of Asif Ali Zardari and the bad governance of the PPP’. He regretted that the PPP leadership brought about the downfall of a mainstream political party.  Hamza noted that the indecent language used by Imran Khan against PML-N leaders left a bad taste in the mouth of people. He said the EC had taken notice of it while the people would show their resentment against it on May 11.

Hamza claimed that his party was enjoying tremendous support at the grassroots. He said that the people would vote for the PML-N as they knew that only a strong government could address their problems. He said that he was foreseeing a 1997 like victory for the PML-N in the upcoming elections.

The young face of the Sharif family said that Army and judiciary’s positive role set a new tradition of change through democratic means. “It is a sign of maturity on the part of the institutions”.

To a question on terrorism, he said that his party ‘condemns this scourge in all forms’ and after coming into power, a ‘made in Pakistan’ policy, reflecting aspirations of the people of Pakistan, would be introduced to counter this menace.

On disgruntled members in the party who are contesting independently, he said that a committee was formed to placate them and those leaders would be accommodated in the local bodies elections. He said the party had fielded the candidates in view of the need of the country and on the basis of performance.

When a question was put that the rival political parties were trying to bind the PML-N with the extremist organisations, he called it ‘sick mentality’ and said that the PML-N ruled the country for years and itself fell victim to terrorism. “It cannot have a soft corner for the terrorist and extremist outfits.”

He said some parties in Sindh have militant wings and the PML-N government would end them after coming to power. The nation wants peace which is necessary to put the country on the road to progress and prosperity, he added.