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January 11, 2019

Nawaz retorts…: Where’s NRO? Will divulge mistreatment details when out of jail

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January 11, 2019

LAHORE: The incarcerated former premier, Nawaz Sharif, said on Thursday those claiming that “we have asked for an NRO (deal) are telling lies”.

Talking to reporters in the Kot Lakhpat jail, he asked “where’s the so-called NRO?” He said he would divulge details of the ‘(mis)treatment’ in jail once he is out of the prison. Nawaz said he has not even been provided with a functioning heater (in this cold weather) in his cell. Terming the Punjab government incompetent, Nawaz said the Shahbaz Sharif-led former government had no comparison in performance. The Metro project in Punjab was completed in 11 months, while there is no progress on the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa metro project so far, he added. He said despite his hard work, Shahbaz is being treated badly.

Earlier, Maryam Nawaz and senior leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) met Nawaz Sharif at the Central Jail, Kot Lakhpat on Thursday. Prominent among the visitors were Hamza Shahbaz, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Khawaja Asif, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Pervaiz Rashid and MPAs Sania Ashiq and Hina Parvez Butt, and others.

Talking to the media outside Kot Lakhpat jail, Mushahidullah said Nawaz Sharif is in jail for putting the country’s politics on the right path. He said in any country, there are many stakeholders in politics and democracy and Nawaz Sharif, being the quaid of a big political party, is one of the important stakeholders. He said the former premier was punished for economically empowering the country and making it a nuclear power and for not bowing his head.

Mushahidullah said the country has greatly suffered because of the “imposed” government, which is carrying begging bowl everywhere. He also criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for taking massive loans, saying it has no idea how to repay them.

The PML-N leader said an agenda of anti-democracy and misgovernance is being followed while everyone else, except those in the government are being termed a thief. Mushahidullah said some people wanted to see Nawaz Sharif to quit politics and added, they are unaware of people's boundless love for Nawaz Sharif.

Rana Sanaullah Khan said the government is targeting the opposition through vindictive accountability.He said from a shopkeeper toa mill-owner, everyone is worried as business activities have come to a standstill.He said if the prevailing situation continues, the country might default. The former Punjab law minister said the ministers are busy in rebuking the opposition and media while the unemployment is on the rise.

After meeting the former premier in jail, MPA Sania Ashiq in her social media post said “though in high spirits, Nawaz Sharif’s health was a serious concern. He gives all his followers the energy that if one is right on his cause, nothing can come in the way,” she tweeted. Ashiq said when someone asked Nawaz Sharif what did he miss the most, he replied: Kulsoom. “I miss her a lot,” he was quoted as having said.

Earlier, charged PML-N workers and supporters greeted Maryam Nawaz when she arrived at the Kot Lakhpat jail. Chanting slogans in favour of their leaders, they also showered rose-petals on her vehicle. Maryam had also brought food for her father.

Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former Punjab governor Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mahmud met Nawaz Sharif at the jail. While setting aside all the rumours of conveying a message from the PPP's Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari to the PML-N supermo, sources close to Makhdoom said he visited Nawaz Sharif in personal capacity.

They further said Sharif embraced Makhdoom. They added the former governor spent 10 to 15 minutes with Nawaz Sharif and also inquired about his health. Makhdoom is the first prominent politician outside the PML-N who paid a visit to Nawaz Sharif in jail, where the latter is serving a seven-year jail term in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference since December 25.

Outside the Kot Lakhpat Jail, while replying a question about PTI government’s sincerity on the south Punjab province, Makhdoom said three houses had passed the resolutions for the province while Senate had also legislated in this regard. Without naming the PTI, he said they contested the election in the name of south Punjab province. “And I hope that they would fulfil their promise,” he added.

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