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PML-N to heal nation if mandate given on February 8: Nawaz Sharif

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Ex-PM says he does not believe in revenge and will focus only on delivery on economic front to provide relief to masses

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. — AFP/File
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. — AFP/File
  • Nawaz says he was unfairly removed from power and victimised.
  • We need to move on, leaving behind bitterness of past, says ex-PM.
  • PML-N supremo vows to work with the world for Pakistan’s benefit.

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif has said that the country needs a healing touch and he will ensure to mend and undo damages caused to the nation at all levels if elected by the people during the February 8 general elections.  

In an interview with Geo News, the three-time former prime minister said his unceremonious removals through “conspiracies” had caused serious damage to Pakistan economically, politically and socially.

“Pakistan needs a healing touch. Pakistan needs hope and unity to start a new chapter to control the damage and to build the nation as a strong and meaningful entity.”

This was Nawaz’s last interview on the day he addressed a large and enthusiastic crowd in a town in Kasur, around 60 minutes away from the Jati Umra estate where Sharif lives with his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

Several recent surveys have put Nawaz Sharif’s party ahead of his rivals including Imran Khan’s PTI and Bilawal Bhutto’s PPP. In the last few weeks, Nawaz’s party narrowed the popularity gap and then went ahead in the ratings. He has also been called “the king of comebacks” by the BBC for a popular perception that he is highly likely to become the prime minister of Pakistan for the fourth time.

He said that it was due to “Allah’s blessings that the people […] acknowledge that we delivered infrastructure development and economic progress during our terms in office and they pose confidence in Pakistan.

“As to who becomes the premier of Pakistan next, it’s in the hands of the electorate and they are the ultimate decision-makers. If we get the mandate to serve the nation again then we will do everything we can to help our nation.”

Nawaz said that he was unfairly removed from power, targeted and victimised and that resulted in harm to Pakistan’s economic progress and social cohesion but he said he didn’t believe in revenge and would focus only on delivering on the economic front to provide relief to the masses.

He said: “I have suffered personal losses but I treat that as a personal matter. It’s the Pakistani nation that suffered hugely. We need to move on, leaving behind the bitterness of the past. I don’t believe in revenge of any kind.”

The PML-N was criticised for starting the election campaign late due to lengthy sessions of interviews held at PML-N’s Model Town, presided over by Nawaz himself. Since then Nawaz, his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz have addressed large rallies in the major rural and urban areas of Punjab. 

The PML-N stalwart said: “The way people have responded to us is unprecedented. I have seen a desire for genuine change in their eyes. The masses have connected to me and appreciated when I told them what has brought Pakistan to this stage.

“They also recognise that we have the plan and the vision to deliver on the promises we have made. We will actually deliver more than what we have promised them.”

Nawaz rejected the perception touted by some in the media that most of the youth are with the PTI. As in many other rallies, Nawaz also asked the rally participants in Kasur about their age groups and highlighted that the majority of the youth were with the PML-N and agreed with his party’s manifesto of progress.

Responding to a question, the PML-N supremo said that deposed prime minister Imran Khan found himself landed in jail and convicted in corruption and cipher cases due to his own mistakes, miscalculations and strategic failures.

Nawaz said that Khan was involved in a conspiracy to cause a rift within the armed forces by attempting a coup against the current army chief and through attacks on the army installations on May 9 last year.  

He further said that Khan’s decision to launch May 9 attacks on the Pakistan Army was “catastrophic” in nature and showed the selfish nature of the former premier who will go on trial in the same case soon and dozens of former PTI leaders and workers are in jail for the May 9 conspiracy.

“What Imran Khan did and what has happened to him is his own making. We made Pakistan atomic power, we didn’t attack our own army on 9th May. We are for peace and progress.”

The PML-N top leader also said it was unfortunate that Khan had damaged relations with almost every country in the world at a huge price to Pakistan.

He vowed that PML-N would mend relations with the foreign powers if mandated into power during the Pakistan election and would restore the place of the country in the international community. 

“We will work with the world for Pakistan’s benefit,” he concluded. 

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