ISLAMABAD: PML-N chief and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif here on Sunday urged the nation to give his party a full mandate in the May 11 elections so that he would not have to beg support from other parties to rule the country.
“Pakistan needs a strong and stable government. The country cannot afford to have a split mandate or a coalition government. Give us as many votes as you can because I do not need crutches,” Mr Sharif told an emotionally-charged gathering at the heart of the federal capital.
According to Mr Sharif, only a government having complete writ could take the country out of the present mess which had been created by the two previous regimes of Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf and President Asif Ali Zardari.
Some 10,000 to 15,000 people, including a large number of youngsters from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, listened to the 35-minute speech of Mr Sharif with patience and discipline despite waiting for their leader for almost four hours.
The public meeting had been organised by the Islamabad chapter of the party in connection with the election campaign of the two party candidates and former MNAs Anjum Aqeel Khan (NA-48) and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry (NA-49).
Mr Sharif promised a bright future for the country, promising that if voted to power his government would run bullet trains, build motorways, set up underground transport facility on the pattern of London and launch metro-bus services.
“The bullet train will cover the distance between Karachi and Peshawar in just seven hours,” he announced amidst slogans of “Wazir-i-Azam Nawaz Sharif.”
Though the PML-N chief criticised the PPP government’s policies, the focus of his speech mainly remained on Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.
In his apparent reference to the PTI’s slogan of bringing a change in the country, Mr Sharif said the country would soon “witness a revolution and not a change.”
He asked the people not to consider the May 11 polls as a joke as it would decide the country’s future and fate.
Mr Sharif said his party had the expertise and the team to resolve the nation’s problems and make the country an “Asian Tiger.”
PML-N’s Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan, Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah and former joint secretary Siddiqul Farooque were also present.
Nabeel Anwar Dhakku adds from Chakwal: Earlier, speaking at a public meeting at Talagang in Chakwal district, the PML-N chief promised to make Talagang a district if people from the area voted for the PML-N, stating that “to gain something, you must first give something.”
The public meeting was attended by several local PML-N leaders, including party’s District President Chaudhry Liaquat Ali Khan (PP-20 candidate), Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik, Major (retd) Tahir Iqbal (NA-60 candidate), Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman (NA 61 candidate), Tanvir Aslam Awan (PP-21), Sardar Zulifqar Ali Dullah (PP-22) and Malik Zahoor Anwar Awan (PP-23).
Mr Sharif said all his political rivals had turned their guns towards the PML-N.
“Khilari (player), Anari (novice) and Zardari; all are attacking the PML-N,” he said, stating that the party would still emerge victorious on May 11.
“Had Zardari given an hour to the country, such a mess would never have existed,” he said, adding that the 18 hours of power failure was a gift from Zardari to the nation. He further said the previous government had taken massive loans which had never been taken in the past 60 years.
The PML-N chief said the Pakistan People’s Party had launched a massive media campaign against the PML-N because it had nothing else to show.
Mr Sharif said he had no lust for power and had come forward to save the country.
“My heart aches to see the present situation of the people, where the public exchequer is empty,” he said, adding his government would provide gas facility to Talagang. He also promised farmers that small dams would be constructed in the area.
He vowed to open banks in the area so that the youth could obtain loans and start their own business. “We will establish schools, colleges, a medical college and a university in this area,” he promised.