JARANWALA, Jan 27 (TNS): Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the upcoming elections later this year will prove to be a referendum for the new Pakistan.
Addressing a public rally in Jaranwala on Saturday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief said that the tradition of overthrowing elected representatives must end in the country, Express News reported.
“It’s people’s prerogative only to elect and reject prime minsters,” he said and asked the attendees if they will accept such an attempt made by only ‘five people’, in a reference to five-member bench of the Supreme Court that disqualified him to hold the public office.
The PML-N chief was ousted from power by the top court in a landmark judgement in the Panama Papers case in July last year.
“Did you see the sea of empty chairs in Lahore rally?” said the former prime minister, referring to a reported flop show of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT)-led joint opposition at the Punjab capital’s Mall Road earlier this month.
“There’s no comparison between this rally and the one on Mall Road,” he remarked, adding that he will again visit Jaranwala before the 2018 general elections.
“Nawaz Sharif loves you from the core of his heart, I love you too,” he responded to the chants of ‘I love you Nawaz Sharif’.
“I remember 1999 when we carried out nuclear test… the country was progressing and people were getting right opportunities for employment. Pakistan was becoming an economic power but Musharraf had put a stop to all that by overthrowing my government,” said Sharif.
“Even this time around when we assumed power the country was facing multifaceted challenges including terrorism and economic woes. But through right decisions we addressed those issues… before I was again ousted unlawfully.”
Reminding the audience about progress during his tenure as the premier, Sharif said his party’s government stopped drone attacks, brought back electricity, ended unemployment and put the country back on track of progress.
“Go and ask people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) about accomplishments of the provincial government there… what have they [Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] given them other than false promises and incompetent governance,” he stated, taking a jibe at his main political rivals.
Sharif also took a broadside at PAT chief Tahirul Qadri on a lighter note, saying he did not get scared by drone cameras hovering over his head unlike “Maulvi Tahirul Qadri” who got panicked by an electric spark at the Mall Road rally.
“These cowards are coming to contest us… they will be badly defeated in this year’s elections,” he added.
When someone on the stage blocked his view of the audience, the PML-N chief said, “I am full of passion and energy today… don’t dare and come between me and the masses today.”
He said the people had elected him and no one else can break this relationship. “Your decision will be the final decision. All out efforts are being made against Nawaz sharif these days. Will you accept these attempts to remove me from heading PML-N?” he asked the highly-charged crowd that responded with no.
Lauding the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the elder Sharif said that his younger brother had worked day and night to transform the province, which he added was evident now.
After the success of metro bus projects in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan, similar projects will also be launched in Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala and all other major towns of Punjab, said the former premier.
“Those who called it jangla bus are now themselves building it in Peshawar without any success.”