2018 election campaign to be based on ‘Sanctity of vote’: Nawaz


Zubair Qureshi

Quaid of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said here on Tuesday that in Pakistan’s 70-year history, sanctity of vote was never upheld. However, he vowed to make it the fundamental principle of the PML-N campaign for general elections of 2018 and win public vote on this single point agenda.
Speaking at a seminar ‘Respect for Vote’ here at the National Library Auditorium, Nawaz Sharif said never in the country’s history has the sanctity of vote been maintained. “We have all gathered here at this seminar to restore the sanctity of vote and save the country,” Nawaz added.
Veteran politicians including Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai, National Party leader Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PML-N President Raja Zafarul Haq, leaders and workers of the PML-N as well as other political parties also participated and spoke on the occasion. Newly elected Senator of PML-N Mushahid Hussain Sayed had organized the event for his leader.
“The sanctity of vote has been made a joke of. The public opinion has continuously been crushed and democratic forces were ousted via use of un-democratic means,” Nawaz Sharif said.
On the military rule in the country, the former PM said that “In 38 years, there have been 20 PMs and none have been able to complete their tenure.” On the other hand, he added, “four dictators ruled the country for a span of 32 years and each military rule invented a separate doctrine of necessity to come to power.” “We have all seen the way civilian governments have been treated. Z.A. Bhutto was sentenced to death, Benazir Bhutto was martyred, while I was termed a hijacker and sent to the Adiala Jail. But now, we have to put an end to this political chaos,” the former premier said. However, he said the time has come when we will have to decide about the turn-coats.
Nawaz Sharif said that the PML-N would not give tickets to disloyal people in the forthcoming elections. “The party tickets for elections would only be issued to uncompromising people,” the former PM said. Sharif was referring to eight lawmakers from South Punjab who had recently left PML-N and launched their own “Junubi Punjab Sooba Mahaz”. Sharif said his opponents may be happy over his disqualification but past nine months had seriously damaged the process of development in the country. Lashing out at the Balochistan government, he said a government elected by the people had been toppled and an artificial structure was put in place. “Wajid Zia said in the court that there were 40 people in the JIT,” he said. “Who will reveal their identities?” Sharif claimed that his party would form government in Sindh in the next elections. He said those who claim to make ‘Naya Pakistan’ had voted for ‘Teer’ (PPP’s election symbol) in senate elections.

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