Nawaz Sharif Jalsa in Faisalabad Dated 20-11-2011
FAISALABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said the deciding moments in the political history of Pakistan are imminent and people should play their role in protecting the solidarity and sovereignty of the country.
Addressing a huge public rally at the historic Dhobi Ghat ground here on Sunday evening, Nawaz said President Asif Zardari has sold the sovereignty of the country and the PML-N has decided to go to the masses as the government has failed to implement the decisions of the elected parliament. He demanded an impartial inquiry into the memo scandal within nine days otherwise his party would go to the masses in all the federating units of the country and also file a writ petition in the Supreme Court.
“Is it Pakistaniyat (patriotism) to seek foreign powers’ help to bring Pakistan’s armed forces under pressure,” he questioned while referring to the letter allegedly written by President Asif Zardari to Mike Mullen. He alleged that the president was selling the country’s sovereignty and integrity.
The PML-N chief appreciated the people’s commitment and said he was not there to play political games. He said the solidarity and sovereignty of the country was at stake and the country’s reputation had been eroded due to the ill-conceived policies of the cowardly rulers. Nawaz claimed that he improved the image of Pakistan by conducting six atomic explosions in response to India’s five explosions. He said he had the courage to refuse a $5 billion package, offered by the then American president Bill Clinton. His decision improved Pakistan’s image but dictator Pervez Musharraf failed to resist US dictates.
Similarly, he added, the incumbent rulers have failed to respond to the attack on Abbottabad. Nawaz said it was pity that President Zardari’s letter was published in The Washington Post appreciating the attack.
Similarly, Prime Minister Gilani also termed it a great victory, and asked the people if such persons could protect and defend the sovereignty of the country. He alleged that the government had failed to defend the Kashmir cause and it has given a clear assurance to India that the major dispute (over Kashmir) between the two countries has been put on the back burner for 10 years.
Nawaz lauded the successes and achievements of his government in the past and said the rulers have failed to fulfil their commitments by saying that “political commitments are not sacred words.”
He was also critical of Imran Khan. Without uttering his name, Nawaz said his actions had proved in the past that the PML-N could serve the country in the best way and he had never tried to befool the people through lofty claims. He said the PML-N had initiated a revolutionary programme many years ago, but his government was toppled within two years. He said the dirty game should now come to an end and the establishment should not be allowed to form or dismiss any elected government.
Nawaz said the rulers had imposed unprecedented power and gas loadshedding on the people, resulting in the closure of thousands of industrial units in the country, especially in the Punjab province, thus rendering lakhs of people jobless. He said the Zardari government had totally failed at the local as well as international fronts. He alleged that ministers and advisers of the PPP government were minting money by indulging in malpractices and corruption. He said the government had failed to improve the working of the nationalised industries and added that PIA, Pakistan Railways, Steel Mills and other government-owned institutions had been running in constant loss. Despite large-scale agitation, the rulers are perpetuating their rule, he added.
He said the growth rate during the PML-N period was eight per cent, which has now been reduced to merely two per cent. The Pakistani rupee was much stronger then, which has now lost its worth. It is not our future, he said, and added that only the rulers were responsible for inflation, the price-hike and unemployment.
On the contrary, the PML-N government introduced a viable economic policy during its rule, built the Motorway, planned JF Thunder fighter planes, brought in foreign investment, set up new industries and increased business activity in the country, Nawaz recounted. Pakistan could have become an “Asian Tiger” had the PML-N policies been allowed to continue.
He said the PML-N sacrificed its personal interests but the rulers were looting and plundering the country. He said some elements were critical of their assets but they must know that his father (Mian Muhammad Sharif) worked hard and set up the best foundry in the country, which was nationalised by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “Again, my father worked hard and established another six units when we were not in power.” He said he wanted to make Pakistan a Land of Opportunities. He asked the youth to get ready as the PML-N government was coming to power and it would provide interest-free or soft loans to them to establish their own small businesses.
Nawaz said power loadshedding would also be ended, just like the Shahbaz Sharif government eliminated dengue from Punjab, without any help for the federal government. He hoped the Daanish Schools would usher in a new revolution as the children of have-nots would also get quality education in these schools. He also announced putting an end to circular debt within one year and paving the way for the complete elimination of loadshedding within three years.
Earlier, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, criticised the mudslinging and character assassination of the PML-N leaders. He said a “Khan from Mianwali” had been promoted by the establishment, who is posing himself as a champion of democracy and issuing statements to knock out both the PPP and the PML-N leaders and get two wickets with a single ball. He said Imran Khan should know that as per laid down rules, only one wicket could be downed with one ball. However, he could get three wickets with a single ball if backed by the umpires.
He also claimed that the PML-N leaders have already declared their assets repeatedly but Imran Khan was exploiting the issue for his political gains.
He challenged Imran Khan to file a joint case in the Supreme Court regarding the assets of the PML-N and the PTI leaders. He said the PML-N would also raise the issue of the Rs 1.2 billion palace in Islamabad where Imran Khan was residing. He said the establishment was pumping Imran Khan’s party for its own interest. He said the professional and committed army of Pakistan should be respected by every patriotic citizen but the military dictators, who used it to replace elected governments, must be rejected.
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Pir Sabir Ali Shah, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, Khwaja Saad Rafique, Abid Sher Ali and Rana Sanaullah also addressed the meeting. The main ground of Dhobi Ghat was jam-packed while thousands of people listened to Nawaz Sharif’s speech by standing on surrounding roads. A large number of women also remained present on the rooftops of the houses in adjacent localities.
Intra-city traffic remained suspended for more than three hours due to the movement of vehicles carrying PML-N activists from different suburban areas.
Agencies add: “They (the ZA Bhutto government) snatched all our assets and nothing was paid,” Nawaz said. “We had assets before my birth and even when Pakistan had not come into being, but we sacrificed all our assets for Pakistan,” he claimed.
Ch Nisar Ali said the PML-N would not accept the ISI that works to creat political turncoats. “Yes, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is our national institution but we will accept it as an institution that challenges the enemies of country and not the one that works for dividing political parties and creating turncoats,” he said.