PML-N supremo questions outcomes of his removal, says Imran ‘knew nothing but to hurl abuse’

Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, on Saturday, reiterated his “Mujhe Kyun Nikala” (why was I ousted?) narrative that he previously used at public gatherings after being removed as prime minister in 2017.

He questioned the panel of five judges, suggesting that by removing him in the Panama case, they achieved nothing substantial but to install a person, referring to PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who, according to Sharif, lacked political finesse and often resorted to below the belt verbal attacks against his political adversaries.

Addressing businessmen and industrialists at two separate events in Sialkot, the three-time prime minister criticised what he perceived as his unjust removal by a panel of five judges in the Panama case. He contended that they turned a blind eye to the repercussions of ousting him.

Speaking at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sharif asserted that those responsible for installing Imran Khan as the prime minister bear equal responsibility for the country’s perceived damages.

He questioned the capability and accountability of those entrusted with such responsibilities, especially in a scenario where prime ministers change frequently, and cases and punishments are allegedly fabricated.

The former prime minister emphasised that political stability is crucial for achieving lasting stability in the country, steering it away from political misadventures.

Sharif recounted spending a total of 14 months behind bars in what he described as a “concocted hijacking case,” facing a potential death penalty from a Karachi court in the year 2000.

 

Recalling the events of October 12, 1999, when his government was removed in a coup led by the former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, the PML-N supremo regretted the swift transition from being the “prime minister in the morning to a hijacker by evening.”

He lamented the impact of political misadventures on Pakistan’s economic prospects and stressed the necessity of stability and adherence to the Constitution.

While boasting his party’s role in the country’s economic progress, Sharif expressed remorse for handing over Pakistan to a leader, presumably referring to PTI chief Imran Khan, who employed abusive language and threats against opponents, allegedly contributing to the erosion of the moral fabric of society.

He recounted the tumultuous events of 2014 triggered by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s prolonged sit-in against his government, expressing regret over announcements made to forcibly remove the prime minister from the PM house. Sharif characterised this style of politics as new and unfathomable to him.

Lamenting the current economic conditions of Pakistan, Sharif remarked that a person earning Rs50,000 could not cover daily expenditures. He claimed credit for ending terrorism and initiating the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), highlighting achievements during his party’s governance, including a growth rate of 5.8% alongside healthy reserves.

Noting positive outlooks predicted by international financial institutions during his tenure, Sharif contended that Pakistan was on the path to becoming a developed nation. However, he argued that after his ouster, the PML-N government from 2017 to 2018 existed only on paper, alleging destabilisation started immediately after his removal in 2017.

Proudly acknowledging his role in making Pakistan a nuclear state, the PML-N supremo asserted that the country had become invincible during their tenure. He cited positive developments in foreign relations, including visits by Indian prime ministers, but expressed dissatisfaction with the subsequent PTI government, which, according to him, had adversely affected Pakistani society, morality, and the economy.

Sharif insisted that continuity was crucial for Pakistan’s success and lamented the reversal of the policies he initiated that helped improve the economy in 2017.

Reflecting on the state of Pakistan during his prime ministership, he nostalgically recalled that the nation was beautiful and valuable at that time.

Pledging to restore the country to prosperity, Sharif vowed not to allow individuals he deemed unfit to govern, asserting that despite facing injustices, those who truly cared for Pakistan’s interests would ultimately prevail.

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