Khawaja Asif Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khawaja Asif has said that, while former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return has been postponed until October, party president Shehbaz Sharif and party stalwart Ishaq Dar should return to the country immediately. “There is no doubt there are countless [causes of unrest] for the people, and there is only one solution to this. We must constantly… constantly stay in touch with the people, so they can see us,” Asif said, adding that keeping a distance from people was not a solution. He stated that even if Nawaz delays his return to Pakistan in October due to the lack of election dates, the former premier and former finance minister should return immediately to address the criticism leveled at the party for its decisions during its tenure in power. PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, he said, was in constant contact with the people. “All of us MNAs are sitting in our constituencies,” he added. The former defence minister, on the other hand, claimed responsibility for the party’s decision given the state of the economy and the country when the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) took office. He claimed that because the PML-N was part of the PDM coalition government, the party did not bear sole responsibility for the decisions. However, as a cabinet member, he added, we accept responsibility. Asif stated that the PML-N leadership was unable to handle the situation as expected. He claimed that when Ishaq Dar returned, they had no idea what was in store for them. Asif also claimed that his party knew how to address the various issues confronting the country but had failed to deliver in the previous 16 months. He said: “We know where and who is stealing electricity,” adding that the largest chunk of power theft takes place in markets. He also claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa resisted closing markets early in the evening to save electricity and that his party ensured continuous power supply during an 18-hour load-shedding period in 2013 and brought terrorism under control. He stated that the PDM coalition formed the government following the success of the no-trust motion against the PTI government and that holding elections was a better idea at the time. However, the coalition members did not accept the PML-N’s proposal and instead formed a government. Concerning the sugar crisis and the subsequent blame game between the PPP and the PML-N, the former defence minister stated that while the decision to export sugar was made by the Minister of Commerce, it was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and then the cabinet. He stated that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari had previously stated that exporting sugar stocks would earn us a billion dollars. He stated that there is nothing wrong with Faisal Karim Kundi of the PPP wanting Bilawal Bhutto to be the next prime minister. Asif stated that this is an election year and that it is their right to pursue their dreams.