Nawaz: No power can ‘oust’ me from people’s hearts

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Pledges to make Pakistan great country; Seeks support for future plan; Terms boy crushed under security vehicle as ‘first martyr of our struggle’
Our Correspondent

Gujranwala

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, addressing ‘Homegoing’ rally here on Friday said that conspiracies were being hatched against his government for the past three-and-a-half years and pledged to make Pakistan a great country. “If you agree and keep your promise, we will change the country’s destiny.”
Speaking about the allegations brought against his premiership, he said he did not steal a single rupee.
Nawaz Sharif continued to criticise the Supreme Court of Pakistan orders that sent him packing in the wake of Panama Papers case revelations, seeking people’s support for a plan that he said would announce later.
Nawaz Sharif claimed that no power can drive him out of people’s hearts. “They only ousted me on paper, but not from the hearts of the people. Tomorrow they would again elect me as their prime minister.” I salute you for the way you welcomed me.
“The country is on the path of progress, but such decisions push the country back fifty years,” he said. When they couldn’t find an alibi, they ousted me for not taking salary from my son,” he said addressing a huge gathering of his supporters in Gujranwala.
“I have come here to wake you up for the sake of country’s respect.” he said and asked his workers to pledge their support to him.
“Prove the corruption that you say I did,” said Nawaz challenging his opponents and added that once again he was not allowed to complete his tenure.
After a pre-teen boy was crushed to death in Lalamusa by an alleged security vehicle of the convoy, Nawaz announced in his address, to visit late boy’s grieving family and offer compensation in whichever way it is going to be feasible. He prayed for peace for the bereaved family. He also prayed for the child’s soul. “He was the first martyr of our struggle,” said Nawaz.
Nawaz Sharif said he would not tolerate insult to people’s mandate, in a reference to his disqualification by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “I say once again that I have not come here to get myself restored. I have come for the dignity of the country, to get the country’s dignity restored.”
Reiterating his earlier statements from Gujrat, Nawaz said democratically elected prime ministers were never allowed to complete their tenure.
“How unlucky is Pakistan that not one prime minister completed his tenure. There were 18 prime ministers who ruled for a year-and-a-half, while three dictators ruled for 30 years.” Nawaz also called upon the ones who gave the ruling against him to see the people announcing their verdict.
“When they didn’t find any excuse, they disqualified me for not receiving salary from my son. Do you think it was justified?” Ex-PM said that the government was successfully curbing terrorism and crime incidence across Pakistan but “they” toppled his government.
The former premier said Pakistan was developing as a nation and industries were being set up, unemployment was being reduced and the country was moving on a path of peace and prosperity. “But they could not tolerate this. They thought that if Nawaz succeeded, then PML-N would come into power next year again.”
There would have been no load shedding, if they had allowed me to work. “They ousted me faster than I was completing development projects. There is no respect for your vote . .. I can’t tolerate this joke.”
He said he worked day and night to put an end to load shedding and the power crisis was going to end next year if he was not disqualified. Nawaz also thanked the crowd gathered at the venue. “I want to thank you all for coming here to support me,” said Nawaz.
Referring to his earlier long march for the restoration of judges, he said Gujranwala has always been lucky for him.
Replying to the crowds chants of ‘Nawaz Sharif we love you’, the former premier said he loves Gujranwala too.
Earlier on his arrival, the former prime minister was welcomed by a massive crowd of supporters in Gujranwala, his third day of the journey home to Lahore.
He will spend the night in Gujranwala before moving towards Lahore on Saturday. Addressing a massive crowd in Gujrat, Nawaz again asked for support to help him bring change to the country.
Waving to the crowd of supporters, Nawaz asked if they had accepted the verdict against his premiership, the question received a resounding chorus from the crowd which answered in the negative.
“Have you accepted the court’s decision? My appeal is in your court. Nawaz Sharif’s appeal is in your court.”
Reiterating his statements from his address a day earlier in Jhelum, Nawaz said the mandate of the people was torn apart when he was kicked out of office.
He added that it was a matter of respect of 200 million people and no individual could take this right from the people. The disqualified premier also reiterated that he had not indulged in any corrupt activities.
“Why was Nawaz Sharif ousted? Someone should tell me what corruption charges I was facing. The judges are saying that Nawaz Sharif has not done corruption. The nation is asking why I was ousted?” “Millions voted for Nawaz Sharif and a few dishonourably ousted Nawaz Sharif.” He said, “Today, there is power in the country, the farmer’s tubewell is working, loadshedding is about to end and prosperity is returning to the country.”
The route of Nawaz’s convoy was changed after he had addressed his supporters in Gujrat’s Central Point.
Earlier, Nawaz Sharif departed from Jhelum around 11:30am on Friday, continuing his journey to Lahore via the GT Road.
The Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo, on his way to Gujranwala, some 100 kilometres from Jhelum, was greeted by hordes of supporters in Sarai Alamgir, Kharian, Lala Musa and Gujrat.
Local leaders of the PML-N, along with supporters, and security staff amassed at the venue and left with Nawaz’s cavalcade.
Senior party leaders Pervaiz Rashid, Saad Rafique, Amir Muqam and Abid Sher Ali, among others, are accompanying Nawaz Sharif.
Arrangements were finalized for Nawaz Sharif’s stay in Gujranwala where bungalow of PML-N leader and federal minister Khurram Dastagir Khan’s brother-in-law was decorated ahead of Sharif’s arrival.
Earlier in Gujrat, addressing workers rally he claimed that his government provided employment, eradicated power outages and elevated the economy. “Everyone would have become employed if I had stayed,” he said. Even the judges admitted that Nawaz Sharif committed no corruption, he added. Without naming PTI Chairman Imran Khan, he said he is aware of the conspiracy backed by certain people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
While talking about his disqualification, he stated it has happened to be for the third time, adding that no father takes salary from his son. A crowd roared a ‘no’ when he asked whether he should sit at his home. Nawaz Sharif asked for people’s support, warning them that the country would struggle if such ousters reoccur.