PESHAWAR: Showing no let-up in his tirade against the judiciary, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday again subjected the five-member Supreme Court bench that sent him packing to severe criticism, saying “sanctity of vote has lost its meaning”.
“Millions of voters elect you as a prime minister and send you to Islamabad [the federal capital] but five persons [referring to the five-member judges’ bench] pick you up and kick you out,” Sharif said during a PML-N gathering in Swat.
He stated that he [referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan] who admitted having foreign accounts was never sent packing but he [Nawaz Sharif], who has never been proven guilty of corruption, was kicked out only for not being paid by his son.
“Where is respect and dignity for the vote when five persons trample the vote of millions of people under their feet,” the former premier said, adding, Khan had failed to deliver in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
He said if people wanted to see real change, they must visit Lahore, Rawalpindi and other parts of Punjab, adding the PML-N government had rooted out militancy from the country, brought peace back.
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"You people had to leave your homes in the past, but who managed to bring you back?" Nawaz asked the people.
"We managed to bring you back to your homes, just like we brought peace back to Karachi. These were the things your elected leader was supposed to do for you, however, he did not," he said in a reference to Imran Khan, whose party leads the governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"Malala has come back to Pakistan because of the peace that has returned to your area, tell me, do I lie when I say that we have brought peace back to Swat?
"Oh people of Swat, do not make the same mistake again, do not elect a leader who does not care for you," Nawaz said during his speech.
He added: "I know that the people of Swat will make a different decision this time around, they will choose leaders that care about them and their problems."
Like her father, the former premier’s daughter Maryam Nawaz also continued and chanted ‘respect vote’ slogans.
She stated the country’s development was stopped by the country’s justice system [referring to the cases being heard against the former premier in the Supreme Court], adding the justice system should decide 1.6 million pending cases, rather than pursuing the cases against an individual [referring to her father].
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“It is wise, for country’s survival to give ‘right’ verdicts and protect the country from being collapsed,” she said.
“Verdicts based on truth and facts should not fear ‘contempt’ and why do you fear contempt if your verdicts are based on reality?” she questioned, adding, “We respect the judiciary, but don’t expect respect from us for the verdicts based on revenge”.
She stated that elected governments made decisions and not the institutions, adding if elected governments were not allowed to decide, it becomes the duty [of the general public] to raise their voice.
While talking about the PTI and the PPP’s alliance during the Senate polls, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari are brothers that have joined hands under a banner that does not represent the people.
In a fiery speech made while addressing a huge crowd at Kabal in Swat, Maryam said, "These two brothers have joined hands under a banner that does not represent the people of Pakistan."
"You people voted for his party [PTI] in the 2013 election and he took your vote and placed it at Zardari's feet during the Senate elections," Maryam said adding that if Imran has to do the same next time, "he should just tell people to vote directly for the arrow instead of getting them to vote for the bat."
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"When you voted for the PTI in the last election, you hoped Imran will work for you, make new roads in Swat, however, he spent the whole term in blocking roads in Punjab and the federal capital."
She added: "Where was Imran when floods hit Swat, or when the dengue infection was prevalent here? Let me tell you where he was, he was in the federal capital being a pawn in someone else's efforts to topple the government." The former premier’s daughter questioned that for how long conspiracies will be hatched against the former premier since things were public after an elected PML-N Balochistan government was toppled, adding the election for the Senate chairman was injustice with people.
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