Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday that it was not wise to celebrate Independence Day as a day of protest.
Talking to a delegation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers, the CM said that August 14 was a day of realisation of dreams and renewal of pledges.
“Pakistan was not achieved through any long march, but it came into being as a result of the struggle and sacrifices of our forefathers. The Pakistani people will foil any long march that aims at hindering the process of development and progress,” he said.
The chief minister criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan. “He is a supporter of dialogue with those who have killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis and are bent upon destroying the country. However, he is not ready to negotiate with a democratically-elected government. There is a huge contradiction between his words and deeds,” Shahbaz said.
The chief minister said that Pakistan needed a long march that aimed at the progress and development of the masses and the eradication of terrorism. “The patriotic people of Pakistan will foil every attempt which hampers the process of progress and prosperity,” he said.
“Imran Khan had called me and congratulated me on winning the elections, but now he is raising hue and cry about the same elections,” he said.
The CM said that Imran Khan had failed to prove himself a good politician or a good sportsman.
“Many international observers declared the 2013 general elections as the most transparent and fair elections in the history of Pakistan,” he said.
The CM said that there was only one constitutional method of change the government in Pakistan and that was through elections.“There is no question of midterm elections. The PTI leadership wants to hide its bad performance in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through protests,” he said.
“Politics means selfless service to the people, but those who are talking about bringing the so-called revolution have no interest in the solution of the people’s problems,” he said.
The CM said that some political leaders, who had joined hands with the elements seeking a revolution, had made Punjab the most corrupt province during their rule.
“The present leadership of the country has always served the masses with commitment and has stood by them,” the CM said. He said that all steps would be taken for the protection of life and property of the citizens.
The chief minister said that Pakistan was in a state of war and the armed forces were fighting against terrorism. “Pakistan is fighting for its survival and the whole nation should support its army at this critical hour,” he said.
The CM also apologised to people for the difficulties that they faced due to protective measures taken by the government. In a statement, the CM said that he fully realised the inconvenience faced by the people of the province particularly those travelling between various cities. “The government took these measures for the protection of the people as no government can allow mischievous elements to play with the life and property of the people,” he said.
“Had the administration not taken such steps, the enemies of peace would have crossed all limits of violence and lawlessness,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th,2014.