MANSEHRA: “This law, this decision [to disqualify] would have to be taken to the assembly and changed,” ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif said while speaking to a gathering on Sunday.
“For that, I will need your vote,” he said, reminding the audience that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), which raised slogans for a new Pakistan, had done nothing for the province.
“I have seen new Pakistan from Islamabad to Burhan and Burhan to Shah Maqsood.
“But from Shah Maqsood to Havelian, Abbottabad, and Mansehra I have seen the old Pakistan. They used to say that we will make a new Pakistan. I saw right and left and in the front, I could not see a new Pakistan,” Nawaz remarked, promising that a six-lane motorway would be extended until Mansehra by next year.
“Had Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) been with Shahbaz Sharif, the entire picture of the province would have different.
“Go to Punjab and have a look at Lahore. You will see a new Pakistan, but as you enter KP, or on the other side in Sindh, you will see the picture of the same old Pakistan. No development, no happiness can be seen there.”
Nawaz said that thanks to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Mansehra is about to become the centre of local and foreign investment.
He continued his criticism of the decision which led to his disqualification last year.
Congratulating Federal Minister of Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousaf “for making the Hajis happy” he alleged, “There were ministers in the PPP era who looted Hajis but there is no case against them.”
He said that despite his wish of returning to the area during election campaign, he was not sure whether he would be able to come. “You know that they are after me. They want to arrest Nawaz Sharif and put him in jail because you love me. They hate the person who is loved by people. But I am sure that the nation’s love will succeed and those conspiring against Pakistan will fail.”
Nawaz further stated that he had fulfilled the promises of ending loadshedding and rooting out terrorism, and said that if given a chance again, he would ensure housing for all and introduce a judicial reforms to ensure the provision of justice to poor within weeks.
“For 70 years, this circus has been going on in the country. No prime minister has been allowed to complete their tenure. I want to take a promise from you that the next 70 years will not be of disrespect but of respect for us.”
“Will you act on what I say, [irrespective of] from wherever I say it? If yes, then we will sail through. Otherwise we will continue to be disrespected like this,” Nawaz concluded.
Meanwhile, in an apparent reference to bits of her father’s speech being censored by the media, Maryam Nawaz — who had skipped the Mansehra rally because she had to attend to her daughter who became a mother today — tweeted: “There is complete freedom in our country to tell lies but speaking the truth and presenting facts is not tolerated.”