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October 4, 2017

Nothing learnt from fall of Dhaka: Nawaz

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October 4, 2017

ISLAMABAD: After his re-election as the PML-N president on Tuesday, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said nothing had been learnt from the fall of Dhaka. Nawaz Sharif said his party had thrown a law introduced by a dictator at his face. He said that public mandate should not be insulted as it is a trust of the masses.

Addressing the general council of the PML-N here at the Convention Centre, Nawaz Sharif said, “Today we are ending a black law which was enacted twice by two dictators Ayub Khan and then Pervez Musharraf.” He said that only to stop his way, Pervez Musharraf brought back the black law in 2002, which was abolished by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

“Today, we are returning the old law to the nation. I congratulate all those who did it,” he said.Nawaz said attempts were made time and again in the past to keep him out of politics but every time workers brought him back. “Khawaja Saad Rafique was right when he said that such attempts were made again. I was thinking that attempts were made again and again and you brought me back every time,” he said.

“In the past, the Doctrine of Necessity was introduced (to legitimise martial law) and Iqama was used to oust me. Pakistan can’t go ahead because of what has been happening over the past 70 years. Those who violated the constitutional oath remained Sadiq and Ameen. No action committed during dictatorial rule was taken notice of under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. I wish a Doctrine of Necessity was also created to respect people’s mandate and democracy,” Nawaz Sharif said.

The former premier said politicians may also have committed mistakes, but everyone needs to move forward. “The country will not forgive us if we did not mend our ways,” Nawaz said, adding that independence comes with a price and “we should be prepared to pay the price”.

Earlier, the party chief election commissioner Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal announced unopposed election of Nawaz Sharif for a tenure of four years amid thunderous applause and slogans of the members of the general council, who turned up in big numbers at the Convention Centre.

Nawaz Sharif was flanked by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. He said that his party had returned the old law to them. “But you have seen what treatment was meted out to those“But you have seen what treatment was meted out to those who made Pakistan a nuclear power. They were either hanged, or put behind bars or sent to exile,” he said.

“We have made efforts with sincerity. We have no ulterior motives. I have done nothing wrong and you are well aware as to why I was disqualified,” he said, adding that they should have told the people that there was nothing in Panama Papers and they are disqualifying him making ‘Iqama’ as an excuse. Nawaz Sharif said he was disqualified because he did not receive salary from his son saying, those who disqualified him should also see whether he also took salary as prime minister or not. He pointed out that despite all ups and downs, the PML-N today is the biggest and the most popular party of the country. “I thank all the elders, youth and children who met me and stood with me during four-day journey from Islamabad to Lahore,” he said.

Nawaz said if there was nothing in the Panama Papers then people should have been told the truth that Nawaz Sharif did not misuse any public funds. “This has been happening for the last 70 years. There is a dire need to think about what led to the breakup of the country,” he said.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also addressed the assembly, saying, “Re-election of Nawaz Sharif as president of the PML-N was a defining moment. He expressed confidence that people would endorse this mandate once again in the next general elections after June 2018. 

“In next eight months, our government would complete the unfinished agenda of Nawaz Sharif and his manifesto.” He felicitated Nawaz Sharif on becoming head of the PML-N and said he was proud of his 30-year-old affiliation with the party, recalling his presence even on the occasion when Nawaz Sharif took charge as the party chairman for the first time. He said the historic moment strengthened the notion that the real power rests with the political party and the leader as representative of people. He stressed that a political leader lives in the hearts of people who is neither made through legislation nor can be removed through court verdicts. 

Terming political parties as source of strength for their workers, Abbasi said it was the same strength which made a backbencher like him country’s premier. Abbasi said the scale of development projects launched by Nawaz Sharif during his government was unmatchable with the combined eight-year rule of dictator Musharraf and the five-year government of PPP.

The prime minister said it was an open challenge for the critics appearing on television channels to compare the massive development work carried out by the PML-N with that done by dictators and PPP. He said Nawaz Sharif with his dedication and patriotism addressed the issues of public importance. “The entire nation would reap its benefits in the coming decades,” he said.

Abbasi expressed confidence that the PML-N under the guidance of Nawaz Sharif would continue serving the masses and would always live up to their expectations. Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that Nawaz Sharif enjoyed the support of leadership of all provinces who elected him as president of the PML-N. He said that everything was accomplished through legislation in the National Assembly and Senate. 

He pointed out that two ministers on Monday gave wrong advice to Nawaz Sharif for gaining official positions and vehicles. “Now I request that party workers and members of the general council, who are like our family, be consulted in all matters,” he said. “No one can touch us if we make consultation with our family members sitting here,” he said.

The chief minister said despite all the difficulties, with the legislative power of Senate and National Assembly, Nawaz Sharif became the president of PML-N. He said opposition parties opposed the change in election law but they forgot that a dictator who ruled the country for nine years had created this law. He said the PML-N government has initiated many development projects -- Rs100 billion have been allocated for Diamer Bhasha dam and work was started on Dasu dam, CPEC project and Peshawar to Karachi Motorway. He criticised delay of 18 years in Neelum Jhelum project and said expensive rental power projects of the previous government resulted in loss of billions of rupees.

Criticising performance of the PTI government in KP, he said that Imran Khan failed to produce electricity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that while people of his province died of dengue, Imran Khan refused to come down from Nathia Gali heights. He said billions of rupees were saved in the development projects completed in record time by the Punjab government.

The PML-N secretary general and interior minister Ahsan Iqbal also spoke on the occasion. He expressed resolve of the people to lift the country through their representatives. “Answer for those asking to ‘Do More’ is ‘No More’. Enough is enough as it is being done for the last 70 years,” he said. 

He said the Parliament has done away with the dictatorial clauses in the political parties law. He said it is another step towards strengthening democracy because strong democracy was imperative for strong defence. He said those criticising this amendment must be aware that such black laws of dictatorial regimes bar popular leaders from participating in politics. “Today once again Nawaz Sharif is party president and it was the will of the people to see him in active politics he said.”

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