Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif has said that he will not give anyone a chance to disrespect the vote ‘again’.
Addressing a political rally here on Monday he said that efforts were being made to send him to jail. “A prime minister who sincerely serves the country has never been able to hold their office,” Nawaz told the participants of the rally.
In a jibe at political rival Imran Khan, the PML-N supremo said that the nation will stop Imran rising to power by using a ‘backdoor.’ “Imran turned out to be a man who does not have any principles,” he said.
Calling the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief the most coward man, he lamented that Imran, who had once said that he would never form an alliance with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, was in cahoots with the latter.
“Imran voted for the arrow [PPP’s electoral symbol] in the Senate elections,” alleged Nawaz. “The PTI chief has not just shaken hands with Zardari, the hearts of both men are united.”
In criticism of the PTI-led KP government’s performance, which has claimed to create a ‘Naya [new] Pakistan’ once it comes to power, the PML-N supremo said he had traveled through the province for five hours yet the new Pakistan was nowhere to be found.
“Peshawar is in the same state as Karachi, where roads are broken,” he said. “Imran should be ashamed that the same jangla bus project that he criticised the Punjab government is being set up in KP.”
The PML-N supremo and daughter have been addressing rallies across the country as part of their ‘respect the vote’ campaign following Nawaz’s disqualification by the Supreme Court last year.
Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday, condemning the attack on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, said it is a matter of concern that the situation has escalated to such an extent.
“An attack on the country’s interior minister is not an ordinary issue. I’m extremely concerned that the issue has reached to such an extent,” said Nawaz while speaking to the media at the accountability court.
Referring to the earlier distribution of Rs1,000 to Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) protesters after the Faizabad sit-in, Nawaz questioned the reasoning behind the payment and said, “This is what happens when Rs1,000 are distributed among such people”.
Director-General of Punjab Rangers (DG) Major General Azhar Naveed Hayat Khan had distributed envelopes containing Rs1,000 to the Faizabad protesters.
Nawaz also said that he also spoke to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi about the country’s top anti-graft body, saying, “I’ve spoken to the PM about NAB’s efficiency, once the case registered me is decided, I will deal with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) then.”
The former premier also questioned the selection criteria of judges and the legislative procedures of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). “The parliament must play an effective role for this task,” he said, lamenting that accountability appears to be limited to politicians while other power centers walk scot-free.
“We will bring change in this after winning the general elections,” Nawaz announced, revealing that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders were approached to change their loyalties. “Those committed to the party did not change their loyalties even when they were subjected to threats, coercion and cases by the NAB.”
The former premier feared that the litigation he is subjected to was a clear indication for him to leave politics. “The judges of the high court put forward several questions pertaining to our case but no responses were given,” added the former premier.
“The investigators also did not provide replies to questions raised by Justice Qazi Faez Isa. This country belongs to all of us. It is the nation which is the true owner of the country. Enough is enough, it has been seventy years and we have been looked upon as tenants rather than owners,” Nawaz lamented further.