Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday, vowing to leave politics if corruption is proven against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
Rejecting the PTI chief's allegations of corruption, Shahbaz said, "I will leave politics if even a single penny of corruption is proven."
"The Supreme Court will decide [who is guilty]," he said.
He lambasted the PTI for opposing major uplift projects in the country, including the Lahore Orange Line Metro project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the PML-N's Kissan Package for farmers.
"I conducted talks with China and begged at their feet to help us with our power shortage. They did a great kindness to Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan," he said.
"China is the country which gave us a $46 billion package, of whcih $36bn is for power projects. Is there any country in the entire world that has provided such a large sum for Pakistan's progress?" he questioned. "If there isn't, then we should be grateful to them," he said.
"If you love Pakistan, then you should say 'China, we and our future generations will remember you'. China is doing a kindness to Pakistan," he said.
The PTI chief claims to have no issues with CPEC, but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak continues to speak against China and the CPEC, Shahbaz said.
"They are the hidden enemies of progress," he said.
"The Orange Line is a present from China... They have given Rs45 billion for this project... If I have to give my life for the orange line to be successful, I will," Shahbaz roared.
"The same PTI opposed the Kissan package," he pointed out.
"The party which opposes the CPEC, the Orange Line, the Kissan package ─ what are they, if not an enemy of the country?" he asked.
"Their filthy designs will be unsuccessful, and by next year, the power shortage will have ended. Darkness will have ended."
The PML-N's back-and-forth with the PTI comes as the latter is set to stage a lockdown of Islamabad on November 2 in pursuance of its demand for the premier's 'resignation or accountability' following Panamagate.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was heavily critical of the PTI a day earlier, saying KP's leaders are only found on containers.
"Today the people of KP are searching for their elected leader. They are searching for those who promised them a 'Naya Pakistan' but they are only found on containers."
Imran Khan responded to the premier's statements by sticking to his guns on Panama. "2018 [general election] is far away. He has to answer now on the Panama leaks."
The PTI chief met Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong on Tuesday to assure him the party's protests were not against CPEC.
The same day, KP CM Khattak accused the federal government of cheating federating units of the country on the CPEC, saying the western route would not benefit KP if it was not used by the Chinese for transportation of goods and services and it did not have all the prerequisites required for a route because investors would hardly invest there.