PML-N’s struggle not against PM Imran but “those who brought him into power”, Nawaz Sharif

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Thursday hit out at the PTI government over allegedly failing to control inflation and poverty, saying once again that his party’s struggle was not against Prime Minister Imran Khan but “those who stole the election” and allegedly brought him into power.

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Addressing a meeting of the PML-N’s Central Working Committee (CWC) via video link, the former prime minister said he said he was “pained” to see the existing state of affairs in the country, adding that the poor were today unable to afford food and send their children to school.

“Is this what the ‘state of Madina’ looks like?” he said, alleging that the PTI government had failed to fulfil its “tall promises”.

“You have destroyed Pakistan in every field,” he said while addressing the government, and asked where the 10 million jobs were that it had promised to the people.

“Where are the people who brought you into power? They should answer to the nation as well.”

He reiterated that the opposition’s fight was not against Prime Minister Imran. “We don’t give any importance to him. He is a selected prime minister which you have imposed upon this country.

“Those who brought this gift to us should answer … why did they steal the election and mandate of the Pakistani people?” he said, adding that he could no longer remain silent considering the state of affairs.

“And no one should try to shut me up. Because I won’t,” he said amid applause and cheers from party workers.

In a tweet, Nawaz’s daughter Maryam said he was “fighting the case of [the] people of Pakistan”.

“It is clear that he will take it to the end. He won’t spare anyone who is part of the nexus nor will he mince his words.”

Nawaz told party workers that he will “not let [them] down” and will remain “steadfast” on his ideology, saying he was not worried about the consequences.

He alleged that the PTI government was “brought into power” through rigging on election day and by breaking away the votes of smaller parties and independent lawmakers. He said Imran Khan became the prime minister by a majority of “only four votes”.

“Who were the people of the tractor [election symbol]?” he asked, before answering himself: “These were the people who brought the [PTI] into power.”

He said the Pakistani people were prosperous until 2018 and the PML-N during its tenure had started development projects in all sectors.

“There was adequate electricity again, terrorism ended, the economy was skyrocketing, poverty was ending, the gas too became available, people were getting employment [and] Pakistan was on its way to join the G20,” the former premier said.

He said the PTI government had spent more funds on the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project than the combined cost of the Lahore, Islamabad and Multan Metro bus projects started by the PML-N.

“Our growth rate was 5.8 per cent and today it is nearing -1.4pc,” he said, adding that the PML-N government had kept the dollar exchange rate and prices of everyday commodities under control.

Referring to the motorway and Nankana Sahib rape incidents, he said criminals were “roaming freely” today unlike during the PML-N tenure.

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