ISLAMABAD: Firing a broadside at Prime Minister Imran Khan, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that Imran’s ‘long cherished dream’ of locking down the entire country has finally been fulfilled.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president’s statement comes amid a nationwide shutter-down strike on Saturday as the business community continues efforts to convince the government to withdraw “anti-business measures” announced in the 2019 federal budget.
Shehbaz was referring to the threats hurled by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in 2014.
“If the government tried to put me under house arrest, I promise you, we’ll shut down the whole country,” Khan had said at a PTI workers’ convention in Lahore in August, 2014 ahead of his party’s months-long sit-in in the federal capital. “Our sit-in will not end until we make a Naya Pakistan.”
In today’s statement, Shehbaz, while reacting to traders’ countrywide strike, said the rulers who have come into power by stealing the public mandate have sold the country and the nation to the IMF.
He said Nawaz Sharif eradicated electricity loadshedding and terrorism from the country, adding that his elder brother, who is currently languishing in Kot Lakhpat jail over corruption charges, had put the country on the path of progress during his tenure.
The PML-N president said that their political opponents could not come to terms with the fact that Pakistan was prospering with 5.8 per cent growth rate during his party’s government at the centre with inflation rate had fallen as low as 3% in 47 years.
Shehbaz said that enemies were perturbed as to how Pakistan had managed to rid itself of the IMF and why China was willing to invest $60 billion in the country.
“The oppression against Nawaz Sharif must end as only he can protect the interests of Pakistan and its people,” he said. The PML-N leader also warned that patience of the masses not be tested any further and demanded that his elder brother be released at the earliest.