The chiefs of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf continued their election campaigns on Wednesday, pledging to bring prosperity to the communities they were addressing, if voted to power.
While Nawaz Sharif promised the business community in Islamabad “golden days that they have been yearning for”, Imran Khan vowed to make Balochistan “the most prosperous province in the country”.
The PML-N chief said being a businessman himself he was well aware of the tough times the business community has been through over the last five years and assured them he will turn the situation around.
“We will have traders, industrialists and workers on one side of the table and government functionaries on the other,” Nawaz said.
He added that his government would make efforts to control terrorism and tackle the energy crisis. The business community of the country is the backbone of our economy‚ he said, “but the previous government had neglected the sector”.
He said former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf ‘gifted’ load shedding during his tenure, while the PPP government intensified it.
While comparing the progress of all provincial governments‚ Nawaz said the welfare and prosperity in Punjab is unmatchable.
“I have been premier of the country twice and despite conspiracies which cut short the tenure of my government, I have many feathers in my cap,” he said.
The PML-N chief, in his speech which was cut short owing to the loud cheering by his supporters, said his party “has the agenda to steer the country out of crises.” Interestingly, there were more slogans against opponents, the PTI and Pakistan Peoples Party, than for the PML-N.
Terming the PPP an ‘incompetent lot’, Nawaz said the party was not sincere as it had not bothered to implement any recommendations proposed by the PML-N.
Taking a jibe at the PTI, he said, “I have played cricket but that is not all I have done in life. I have made the country a nuclear power too”.
Imran Khan, on the other hand, chose to give his anti-PML-N tirade a break, focusing instead on his rivals in Balochistan.
He said that he had come to Balochistan to liberate the masses from the clutches of Sardars and Waderas, and said his competition in Balochistan was not with lions.
The PTI chief regretted that the richest province of the country in terms of resources was so impoverished because of Sardars, Waderas and feudalists. “People sitting in Islamabad always deliver huge funds to Sardars, Waderas and feudalists rather than poor people,” he said, while urging people to use their right of franchise on the basis of ideology, not on the basis of language and sect.
Addressing public meetings in Loralai and Sibi districts of Balochistan, the PTI chairman vowed that if his party was voted to power, he would bring an end to military operations, not only in Balochistan but also in other parts of the country.
Imran assured that missing persons would be recovered, and the saga of mutilated bodies being found in Balochistan would also come to an end.
He said that the only one way to get rid of exploitative rulers was for the people to come out of their homes on May 11 and make the right decision.
“People should come out of their homes on election day and vote for PTI because this is fight for their future,” he said.
He said if the PTI was elected, it would introduce a new system in the country, bringing a local government system and shifting powers to the lower class. “The PTI will make Balochistan the most prosperous province in the country,” Imran pledged.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2013.