PML-N will 'bury' PTI in 2023 polls: Shehbaz

Party president hints at launching anti-inflation campaign

Our Correspondent September 26, 2021
PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif said his party's victory in cantonment board election was no ordinary achievement. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said his party, under the leadership of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, would "bury for good" the politics of the ruling PTI in the 2023 general elections.

Addressing a workers' convention in Rawalpindi, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly hinted at launching a protest movement against inflation and issued instructions to the workers to be ready for it.

The PML-N president said his party's victory in the cantonment board elections was not a little achievement, as it had “practically buried the ruling party” for all future polls.

He termed the cantonment board elections as fair, adding that the institutions including the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would have to conduct the general elections in the same manner as well.

Shehbaz urged all the institutions to ensure free and fair elections according to the aspirations of the people.

“The people have now realised that the ‘selection of the selected’ [government] was wreaking havoc in the country,” he added.

Read Shehbaz proposes national govt, demands fair vote

The PML-N president said if his party had won the 2018 elections, it would have been the fourth tenure of Nawaz Sharif as premier and the country would have been on a par with Turkey and ahead of India in terms of prosperity.

He pointed out that the prices of all essential commodities had increased including flour, lentils and sugar whereas the tariffs of electricity and gas have also gone up.

“Despite all this, the 'selected' [PM] says don't panic,” he maintained.

The former Punjab CM said the sugar price had reached Rs110 per kg while flour was available at Rs70 per kg.

“The people of Pakistan have never experienced such a situation.”

The opposition leader said that there was urgency among the masses to protest against the current regime owing to the adverse economic situation of the country.

“You have to support us to lift the country from this mess... be ready to initiate a movement against this government and give it a political defeat.”

The PML-N president said the PTI had promised 10 million jobs but hundreds of thousands had lost their livelihoods since the party came into power.

He said that the ruling party had also promised to provide five million houses but people were struggling to pay rent to their landlords due to the rising inflation.

He claimed that if his elder brother Nawaz was still in power, thousands of people would still be employed and thousands of new jobs would have been created.

He recalled how his brother ended power outages and terrorism; built thousands of kilometres of motorways, schools, colleges, hospitals; installed over 14,000MW of electricity; introduced health cards; created five million jobs; and brought the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to the country.

“But now the PTI government is bent on defaming, defiling and badmouthing the CPEC project -- the consequences of which could be devastating for Pakistan both internationally and internally,” he warned.

Read more Bilawal, Shehbaz discuss overall political situation of country

“Today the electricity, gas, petrol, sugar, flour and other essential commodities had been pushed beyond the buying power of the people. Today, new taxes are being imposed on the public every second day.”

Shehbaz signalled to the party functionaries and workers to be ready for a protest movement against inflation and oust the PTI government politically.

Addressing the convention, party leader Khawaja Asif said apart from the way the people were served during the five-year tenure of the PML-N, the sacrifices made for the sanctity of the vote were an example of the democratic struggle.

“People still love Nawaz Sharif for his services to the people. If there is love for the leader, then unity must be created. If unity is not created, then we will not be able to win the elections.”

Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi said it was Shehbaz, who had taken care of his children like his own when he was facing difficult times.

“I am often advised not to express my views openly. I think that the well-wisher, who had helped me in my bad situation, must be mentioned.”



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