Nawaz asks why Pakistan was handed over to an amateur, says some characters derailed everything

Lahore: Three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said some characters had surfaced and destroyed Pakistan at a time when the country was on the path to development during his last government – the 2013-17 stint.

Addressing a meeting of PML-N parliamentary board at the party’s headquarters at Model Town, Nawaz questioned why the country was handed over to an amateur – with reference to his conviction in the cases related to Panama Papers and the 2018 elections which was widely believed to be rigged.

As the former prime minister again asked why he was repeatedly removed from office when the steps taken by his governments were helping Pakistan march forward. “We should know [the reason] why we [my government] was toppled again and again.”

“Why I was removed in 1999? Was it because of Kargil [the adventure launched by the then army chief Pervez Musharraf after Pakistan and India signed the Lahore Declaration],” he said and added that time had proved that the decisions taken by the then government were right.

His government was able to ensure the visits of Indian prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi during the previous two terms, said Nawaz who champions the cause of regional connectivity and peace, and stressed the need for resolving issues and improving relationship with the neighbouring countries.

Moving forward, Nawaz said the 2017 episode was designed to sabotage the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), recalling that Chinese President Xi Jinping had told him personally that “the CPEC is a gift to you.”

He said Pakistan would have defaulted if the PDM had not decided to intervene as the everything had paralysed by 2022 – last year which saw the removal of PTI government through a no-confidence motion to be replaced by the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition arrangement.

Nawaz said electricity tariff had increased only because of the PTI, adding that devaluation of rupee was the reason behind the unprecedented inflation in the country.

Nawaz, who stands for a strong currency and low interest rates, said electricity tariffs had increased only because of the PTI, adding that devaluation of rupee was the reason behind the unprecedented inflation in the country.

He told the PML-N leaders and the candidates applying for party tickets that they would be victorious in the upcoming general elections scheduled for February 8, as he eyes a fourth term – a feat which was unimaginable for many till a few months back.

In 2018 too, the PML-N was set to win the elections on the basis of its performance, as suggested by the opinion prevailing during that period in 2017, he said. But, he added, everything was managed and fabricated since 2017 to get the desired results in 2018.