Sharif vows to continue 'struggle for democracy'

Published November 28, 2017
PML-N President Nawaz Sharif addresses party workers in Punjab House, Islamabad. —DawnNews
PML-N President Nawaz Sharif addresses party workers in Punjab House, Islamabad. —DawnNews

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to continue his "struggle for democracy" during an informal address to workers at the Punjab House in Islamabad on Tuesday.

"What has been happening in the country for the past 70 years is very unfortunate," he said. "Sometimes the prime minister is removed, at others he is hanged. Sometimes he is arrested and at others sent in exile."

He was speaking to PML-N workers after an appearance at an accountability court in Islamabad.

Sharif said that he will continue the struggle for democracy with his workers and other political parties. "Soon you and I will take a vow for Pakistan's development," he told the gathering.

He said that all civilised countries in the world had progressed through democracy, while dictatorships had failed to deliver everywhere.

Sharif continued his criticism of the Panama Papers verdict, reiterating that "the people had rejected the court's decision."

"Party workers and the people of Pakistan are standing with me," Sharif said.

According to reports, the ousted prime minister was visibly upset at how the Faizabad sit-in panned out.

Earlier, in a meeting with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Minister of State for Interior Affairs Talal Chaudhry, Sharif was briefed on the Faizabad operation.

Sources claimed that he expressed reservations over the failure of the civil administration in dealing with the protesters and asked the ministers to fix responsibility for the crisis as it had become a cause of embarrassment for the government.

In a separate meeting with close aides Raja Zafarul Haq, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Asif Kirmani, Tariq Fatemi and Ameer Muqam, Sharif discussed the legal and political course of action following his appearances at the accountability court.

Sharif also met with Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Ahakzai, who informed him of his meetings with the PPP leadership, sources said. The PML-N chief's appearance in PkMAP's gathering in Quetta also came under discussion.

He left for Lahore following the meetings accompanied by his daughter, Maryam Nawaz.

While speaking to the media after the meetings, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the country needs to move on from what has happened in the past few days.

She criticised the PPP for becoming a hurdle in the delimitation bill. "The people will not forgive them if the elections are delayed," she warned.

The minister confirmed Sharif's meeting with former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan amidst a spat between the latter and incumbent Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, but said that she did not know what happened in the meeting.

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