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Vowing to uphold the ‘sanctity of vote’ and the ‘supremacy of the Constitution’, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif said the ruling PML-N will introduce amendments in the Constitution to ensure respect for public mandates.
"The PML-N will bring the necessary amendments in the Constitution for the respect of the public mandate," Sharif told the media on Monday after visiting the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal in connection with the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan.
He said it was time to bring Pakistan back to the Quaid-e-Azam's path. “We are late, but we need to decide that we will hold the vote valuable at any cost. We have to respect the law and the Constitution if we are to build the Pakistan envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal."
He asked whether the celebration of Pakistan's independence was really a happy occasion this year.
"We would have been happy if East Pakistan had been with us and progressing. Had we respected the sanctity of the vote, we would not have to see this day," he said, adding that the Doctrine of Necessity had broken Pakistan.
He said the PML-N had delivered in the four years of its rule and had not even completed its five-year term yet. People have seen that we have delivered; I have no doubt about this, he added.
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He went on to speak about eradication of terrorism, ending loadshedding, and economic progress ─ oft quoting election promises that he claimed to have delivered on during his tenure.
"The sea of people that travelled to Lahore with us from Islamabad [during Sharif’s homecoming rally] didn't follow us just like that. They could see the country was progressing and its needs were being fulfilled," he added.
The former PM touched upon promises that would lay the basis for his party's next election campaign ─ providing the ordinary man with access to justice, and free housing for the poor.
"Our next agenda is even bigger than [our last] ─ to give people inexpensive justice. Even if we have to amend the Constitution, I am ready for it," he claimed.
"The cases which were initiated against a grandfather are still being pursued by the grandson. No verdict ever comes, and all assets are spent in the process," he said. "This was not the purpose of creating Pakistan — it was not created so that people don't get social justice."
He said the state should help the poor who do not have the money to face or pursue legal cases. “A constitutional amendment is required for this, which we will do. Whenever the next government is sworn in, we will keep this at the top of our agenda," he vowed.
He also claimed that his party would provide homes to those who could not afford them, adding that this was a dream he held dear in his heart.
"This land is owned by 200 million people, not just a handful of people. Some people have homes and property… the rest should as well," he said, adding, "We wish to strengthen the country economically."
He said when his government came to power in 2013, there was no electricity. “Did Nawaz Sharif not give you electricity? Did he not give you gas? Did he not decrease terrorism? Watch television programmes from 2012 to see what the state of Pakistan was."
Sharif said the PML-N was still in power at the Centre, but his disqualification had been a huge setback for the country and it would not be possible to achieve what the PML-N could have had he still been there.
"I feel that if the drama that has been going on for 70 years does not end, Pakistan could face another tragic event," he warned. "The first item on Pakistan's agenda should be to ensure that the sanctity of the vote is respected," he added.
[WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP]
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