Chief of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif has said that “government with a begging bowl is not acceptable.”
“The incumbent government cannot tackle the crises confronting the country. And a government which has extended a begging hand is not acceptable to the people,” Sharif told senior members of the PML-N in Khairpur.
He said the government has not taken his party into confidence on important national issues, including talks with the International Monetary Fund and the United States. “And now the prime minister should not expect any support from the opposition,” he added.
Accusing the government of ‘unprecedented corruption’, Sharif said the rulers were apathetic to the plight of the people. He added that inflation was going up unbridled. And even kitchen items have become unaffordable for the common man.
Sharif asked the government to shun its “anti-people policies”. “We will oppose all such policies in and outside parliament,” he said.
Wooing the farming community, Sharif said, “We want to bring a peaceful green revolution in the country. I am searching for a team which is committed to bringing about this revolution.”
The PML-N chief said his party had not signed the Charter of Democracy with the PPP to see the country embroiled in corruption, inflation and oppression. “Had the country been allowed to move forward according to democratic norms, its people would have been prosperous today,” he said.
However, on a conciliatory note, Sharif said his party did not want political confrontation. “We don’t want to a see a repeat of the politics of the 1980s,” he added, accusing the government of flouting the court orders and creating confrontation between the judiciary and the executive.
Sharif said that his party was ready to sacrifice everything to put Pakistan on the road to development and economic prosperity. “We are fighting a war of ideologies and we will never compromise on principles,” he added.
Referring to the October 1999 coup by the then army chief Pervez Musharraf, the PML-N supremo said his government was toppled while he was leading the country to economic self-reliance.
Attendees at the meeting included former Sindh chief minister Ghous Ali Shah, PML-N chief organiser in Sindh Saleem Zia and former Sindh governor Mamoon Hussain. The meeting decided to reorganise and rejuvenate the party in Sindh.
The PML-N chief asked his party leaders to set up an independent commission to provide relief to hundreds of thousands of flood survivors in the province.
Earlier when Sharif arrived at the Sukkur airport on the first leg of his countrywide tour, he was warmly received by senior members of his party and scores of his supporters. However, he did not speak to journalists at the airport. (Online with additional reporting from Sarfraz Memon)
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2010.