LONDON/LAHORE: Former finance minister Ishaq Dar, in a major policy statement, said on Saturday that Nawaz Sharif had left his case with Allah Almighty to punish his tormentors and those who threw him out of power using illegal, vindictive and unethical means.
Speaking to the media outside Nawaz Sharif’s temporary party headquarters in London, he said the PMLN supremo did not believe in revenge and firmly believed that Pakistan needed to move forward with focus on economy and development.
The News asked Ishaq Dar about Nawaz Sharif’s narrative with specific focus on General (retd) Bajwa, General (retd) Faiz Hameed and Panama judges, including Saqib Nisar, Azmat Saeed Sheikh, Asif Saeed Khosa, Ijazul Ahsan, the main characters Nawaz Sharif blamed for causing the fall of his government in 2017 and eventually bringing Imran Khan to power in 2018 elections.
Ishaq Dar reminded that Nawaz Sharif, when he was disqualified over Iqama in 2017, had said that he had left his case to Allah with the prayers that those who meted out injustice to him should face punishment in this life and hereafter.
Dar said: “There are two choices: indulge in revenge and personal score-settling or fix the economy and the country. Nawaz Sharif has left his case to Allah Almighty.” The PMLN leader said: “I have never seen in history that nature exposed culprits in such a short span of time. Look at how judge Arshad Malik made his video confession of unfairly convicting Nawaz Sharif; how Justice Shaukat Siddiqui exposed the injustice meted out to Nawaz Sharif. That happened in a swift manner as Nawaz Sharif had left his case with Allah and Allah is the best of judges.” Ishaq Dar said Nawaz Shari’s focus and energies, upon his return to Pakistan, would be on nation-building, helping the nation come out of crises, bringing about economic progress and reforms, bringing prosperity to the nation, reducing difficulties of masses and putting Pakistan on the road to progress. “These will be Nawaz Sharif’s priorities as far as I understand,” Dar added.
Ishaq Dar said it’s a leader who decides the narrative and Nawaz Sharif, as he said in 2017, had left his case with Allah Almighty. He said: “Allah exposed Nawaz Sharif’s tormentors, and He will hold them accountable also. “Some are hiding; some are on the run, and some are unable to show their faces. This is happening, thanks to Allah’s justice. “Today, the whole world knows that false cases were registered against Nawaz Sharif; he was victimized and the nation paid a price for it. The biggest victim in all this was Pakistan. “The progress of Pakistan was pushed back many decades. Under Nawaz Sharif, it had become 24th economy of the world. This is the sum total of destruction of Pakistan.”
Ishaq Dar said the recent stringent steps taken against dollar hoarders and black-market traders were a welcome development, as those were helping the economy. “Formation of the Special Investment Facilitation Council is a step in the right direction. All stakeholders are part of it. The vehicle needed for it is already formed in the shape of Pakistan sovereign wealth fund. Lots of sub-funds will be formed under it. These are revolutionary steps. If we win elections, I have no doubt that Pakistan will take off again,” the former finance minister claimed.
Speaking to the media after meeting Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz at Thornhope House, both Shehbaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar said the narrative of PMLN and Nawaz Sharif would be defined by the fact that Pakistan progressed under Nawaz Sharif from 2013 to 2017 and then his government was toppled and the journey of Pakistan’s economic progress was halted. “The programme is final, and Mian Nawaz Sharif is returning to Pakistan on October 21,” Dar added. The PMLN leader said Nawaz Sharif was the builder of Pakistan and it was to his credit that he ended 20-hour loadshedding, facilitated billions in investment into CPEC, produced electricity of 12,000 megawatts, boosted employment and agriculture and exports took Pakistan’s GDP to higher than 6.5pc. He said that Nawaz Sharif was returning to Pakistan with the objective of taking Pakistan again on the path to prosperity, for and on behalf of the people of Pakistan.
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) has held another crucial meeting in London and decided to avoid politics of conflict and adopt the narrative of economic development in the upcoming elections.
Dar will be returning to Pakistan on Saturday. He said he would appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the re-opened assets beyond means case. “This is a false case, based on lies. I have not missed my tax returns for a second in my life but lies as big as mountains were told about me to victimise me by the Saqib Nisar-led system in order to bring in Imran Khan, but that project failed badly.
“I will prove before the courts that I am an innocent man who has been victimized on political grounds,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, party sources said there were differences among the party leaders about adoption of a narrative in upcoming elections, as Nawaz Sharif wanted it to be strict accountability of all, including generals and judges but his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif stressed narrative of economic development and avoiding any direct or indirect conflict with any segment of the state.
However, PMLN sources said, Nawaz Sharif or the party would not compromise on naming and shaming of the real culprits: General Faiz, General Bajwa, Saqib Nisar, Azmat Saeed Sheikh, Asif Saeed Khosa, Umar Ata Bandial, Ijazul Ahsan and Imran Khan. Nawaz Sharif and his colleagues are of the firm belief these people conspired and worked hands in glove to bring the PTI into power in 2018. Nawaz Sharif and his colleagues, said the sources who were part of the meetings, would continue to blame these people for the current situation of chaos and for halting the economic journey of Pakistan.
There are only two-three hawks in the PMLN who believe that Nawaz Sharif’s focus should be on settling the scores with the establishment first and then do anything else. An overwhelming majority within the PMLN, however, is of the view that the PMLN should not get into any fights and should work with other institutions to bring changes to the lives of ordinary people and win elections and not go down the militant path of the PTI, which made the PTI popular but damaged it, almost beyond repair. The sources said former federal finance minister Ishaq Dar and other PMLN leaders also convinced the PMLN supremo and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on the second narrative. A number of consultative meetings were also held in London during the stay of Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.
Sources said Nawaz Sharif, before coming to Pakistan on Oct 21, 2023, was scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia where he would perform Umrah and also hold some important meetings in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
Separately, PMLN Senior Vice President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz said Nawaz Sharif was a guarantee of getting rid of inflation and inflated electricity bills. She was addressing a meeting of officials of divisions and districts of PMLN Punjab, which was attended by a number of party leaders, parliamentarians and local leadership. The meeting discussed reception arrangements for Nawaz Sharif. PMLN leader Ahsan Iqbal said thanks to the efforts of Nawaz Sharif, the country’s great friend China had invested billions of dollars in Pakistan in the form of CPEC at a time when no one was willing to turn to Pakistan. Khawaja Saad Rafique said had Nawaz Sharif been allowed to complete his term, there would not have been inflation, unemployment and economic crisis today. Former interior minister Rana Sanaullah said if Nawaz Sharif was allowed to continue work, problems of Pakistan would end very soon. Former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said no one could steer Pakistan out of crises except Nawaz Sharif. In another consultative meeting, chaired by Shehbaz Sharif, preparations for welcoming Nawaz Sharif were reviewed.
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