PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday said that since the PPP is not a part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) anymore, therefore it is not a priority now, a private TV channel reported. “PPP is no longer a part of PDM, therefore, it should not be discussed now. PPP is neither my priority nor I have any competition with it,” Maryam said while speaking to media outside the Islamabad High Court. She said there are no differences in the PDM and everyone is on the same page. “We all share the same ideology and the parties in the PDM have the same position which Nawaz Sharif has,” she maintained. Maryam said the benefits of resignations would have been evident only if all the parties in the PDM had resigned, while the resignation of some parties would have been detrimental. When asked about reports of US-Pakistan talks on military bases, Maryam alleged that such a decision could not be made through ‘secret negotiations’ and the government had not yet denied the reports. She said she would oppose hosting of US bases by Pakistan. “If you have made a deal for whatever reason – to save your government or compromised the country’s sovereignty – tell parliament about your blunder. The nation has the right to know what deal the government has made to save themselves,” she said. Maryam also said that institutions are used for political revenge and ex-FIA director-general Bashir Memon’s statement regarding the misuse of institutions is proof of that. Maryam Nawaz also called for an independent inquiry to be held into former Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s statement in the apex court in which he said a senior intelligence officer visited him over verdicts he had issued as a high court judge. She said Siddiqui’s case was “not the case of one judge”, adding that he “should not be punished for speaking the truth”. She said the judiciary should consider the cases against Siddiqui and incumbent Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa as “an attack against it, resist external pressure and give weightage to Siddiqui’s statement”. “Supreme Court must realise that judges are pressured to make [certain] decisions and those decisions tarnish their images. I want to say that he [Siddiqui] should not be punished for speaking the truth. Otherwise, all judges intending to serve justice, follow the law and make independent decisions will be facing trial,” she said. “Judges and Supreme Judicial Council should consider [Siddiqui’s] case as their own and judiciary’s case and end external pressures and dictating of decisions,” she stressed. Earlier, a two-judge bench, comprising Justices Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, heard the appeals of Nawaz, Maryam, and her husband, Capt (r) Safdar, against their convictions in the Avenfield properties reference. The hearing was adjourned till June 23. Separately, PML-N President and Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said that load shedding amid excessive heat speaks volumes about PTI government’s incompetence given the fact that there is surplus electricity available in the system. “People are in pain due to intense heat and children are even losing consciousness because of that. The situation is condemnable and distressing,” he tweeted. Urging the government to feel the gravity of the situation, he advised it to stop indulging in the blame game and start delivering. “When we left in 2018, there was electricity in surplus in the system and zero load shedding. If you do not have the capacity to work, you better go home,” Shehbaz said. “If Imran Khan cannot handle this, then a parliamentary committee should be formed so that the people can get some relief. Already everything from bread to electricity is expensive and people have become jobless,” he further said. “And now you have even deprived them of electricity,” he regretted. “This is Imran Khan Niazi’s Naya Pakistan,” he added. Shehbaz said the only thing this government is good at is to shift the onus of its failures and incompetence on previous governments. “First there was a horrific train crash. And now power breakdowns during a heatwave; what do these leaders think that even now they could befool masses?” he asked. “After flour, sugar and medicine, people are now losing electricity,” he added.