Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that the nation had given him the mandate for a full five-year term, had faith in him and firmly believed in his development-oriented policies.
Talking to the journalists accompanying him on his two- day visit to Tajikistan, he said the people would again vote his party into power in 2018 as they were aware of his ability to deliver and bring about a sea of change in their lives.
When asked about the ongoing questioning by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of his family members, the Prime Minister said, “There is nothing to fear as our hands are clean.”
“What are the allegations against me? Have I looted the national exchequer? Have I done some corruption or got kickbacks?” he questioned.
Sharif regretted that his family’s business matters were being exploited for political gains and that the person (Sharif himself) who made the country a nuclear power was being held to accountability.
He said conspiracies had been hatched against his government time and again, and expressed optimism that this time too his opponents would fail.
“I have never accepted defeat,” he said. “We faced the 2014 sit-in and another round in 2016 and will InshaAllah sail through this crisis too,” he maintained.
Sharif said his family had been victimised by former president Musharraf and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, adding their units were nationalised in 1972 and not a single penny was given to the family by the government.
“Yet we are being held accountable,” the Prime Minister stated.
Regarding his visit to Tajikistan, Sharif said he had a positive interaction with the leaders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan and it had opened up new vistas of cooperation with Central Asian republics, while his dream of regional connectivity and economic interaction was finally taking shape.
There is a vast scope of investment by Pakistani investors in Tajikistan as the country needs infrastructure and industrial units to strengthen its economy, he said, adding Pakistan also provided the shortest possible route for Central Asian republics to the sea and rest of the world.
However, he acknowledged that without peace and stability in Afghanistan very little progress can be made and the region could remain in turmoil.
“Pakistan has always made earnest efforts for improvement in ties with all its neighbours and is particularly keen for better relations with Afghanistan as our economic prosperity is closely linked,” said Sharif.
The prime minister further said that during the meeting he had apprised the regional neighbours of the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the deaths of more than 100 Kashmiri people in recent months and more than 200 people disfigured at the hands of pellet guns used by Indian forces.
“I have always been at the forefront in my desire for resolution of the lingering Kashmir dispute with India,” he said recalling that he had initiated dialogue with the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 1999.
He said he had called upon India to put an end to the atrocities against innocent Kashmiris.