Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif on Monday warned it will not be an easy task to revive the country’s fortunes, but stressed that if voted into power, his party will work to create jobs and curtail inflation.
Addressing a rally in Mansehra—from where he is also contesting elections—Sharif continued his election campaign, as the polling date of Feb. 8 fast approaches. Lamenting that Pakistan’s standing in the global community had deteriorated since his ouster in 2017, Sharif said the country now needs to be rebuilt to restore prosperity.
Recalling his previous tenure in government, he emphasized that the PMLN had previously maintained the rupee’s exchange rate against the dollar at 104 and had almost “eradicated” loadshedding from the country. He also got in some digs directed at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)—without directly naming it—lamenting that the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had voted a “liar” into power who made tall claims but never delivered.
Referring to the 2013 elections, he said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had approached him to form a coalition government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but he had opted to respect the PTI’s right to form the government due to its majority. “I ask the people of KP, what did they [PTI] do during their 10-year rule,” he said, lamenting “these people” had “ruined” the province.
“I am here today not to become prime minister. I am here to contest elections [from NA-15] and seek your vote,” he said, urging people to vote for the PMLN for the prosperity and development of the country and KP.
The former prime minister highlighted the development projects launched by his government in Hazara and the rest of the country, noting the Hazara motorway had proven a major relief for commuters. He also vowed to link the Hazara Motorway to Gilgit-Baltistan via Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road if elected to power. “If I come into power no youngster would be unemployed, and poor segments of the society would receive electricity, natural gas, and even vegetables at subsidized rates,” he claimed. He also said that his government would see to it that Mansehra got its own airport, as well as universities and colleges.
After Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz also addressed the gathering. She lamented the PTI had failed to launch any mega development projects during its 10-year tenure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.