BAHAWALPUR – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Mian Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday linked the 20th Amendment to an independent Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and made it clear that if his party’s demands were not met, there would be an impasse on the latest proposed legislation.

Talking to media representatives at the Lal Suhnara National Park after a meeting with the PML-N workers, Nawaz said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government would be responsible for a delay in the Senate elections, as he accused the government of the ‘deteriorating situation’ in the country.

Earlier, the PML-N had called for appointing a new chief of the ECP to replace what it considers a ‘handpicked’ choice of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Nawaz also criticised the ECP over the inclusion of bogus votes in the electoral rolls and demanded a fair inquiry into the matter. When asked about the party’s preparations in case of early polls, he replied that the PML-N was ready even if elections were announced before September or October, adding that early polls would also be better for the government.

“I think it will be in favour of the government if the elections are held even before September or October. The sooner it is, the better it will be.”

Answering a query about accusation that the PML-N had backtracked on the ‘Memogate’ issue, he rejected the impression, saying they were the first to raise the issue and had approached the apex court for an impartial inquiry to unearth the real culprits behind the conspiracy.

Replying to a similar question on the NRO issue and alleged Zardari-Nawaz-Fazl ‘troika’, he denied any deal and said the PML-N had exposed the NRO and recalled that if his party had not opposed it in the Parliament, the ordinance would have been ratified and shaped into a law.

He supported the demand of the Bahawalpur province with the view that it was not based upon linguistic or ethnic lines.

When asked what would be his party’s line of action on the issue, he said they would do whatever they could, whenever required.

Replying to a query which sought his comments on a statement by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in which he had rejected the idea of Bahawalpur province as unviable, he termed it premier’s personal views, but said Gilani should be advised not to backpedal from his statements after a few days.

Earlier, he released about 410 deer in the Lal Suhnara National Park, which were bred in the Deer Breeding Centre Rahim Yar Khan under the His Highness Sheikh Zayed Wildlife Conservation Programme.