LAHORE: PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Thursday tasked the party ticket holders of Punjab to bring as many people as they could to give a rousing welcome to her father Nawaz Sharif, who is scheduled to arrive here from London on Oct 21.
Presiding over a meeting at the party secretariat in Model Town, Ms Sharif was more concerned about the “historic welcome” his party workers should give to the man who is returning to Lahore after a self-imposed exile of four years.
The participants, the aspirants of the party tickets for Punjab and national assemblies, were also excited, hoping this time around there would be no change in homecoming date of the party’s supreme leader.
Earlier, some senior leaders had given his return date on several occasions, but this is the first time the party president Shehbaz Sharif has officially announced his elder brother’s homecoming.
All participants of the meeting pledged to give historic welcome to the former prime minister. The party has set an ambitious target of gathering over 200,000 people to receive the elder Sharif at the Lahore airport.
PML-N’s Lahore president Saiful Malook Khokhar even bragged about gathering over one million people for the party supreme leader’s reception. Contrary to his claim, Mr Khokhar could only manage to gather a few thousands party supporters when Ms Sharif returned to Lahore after spending several months in London early this year.
Addressing the participants, Ms Sharif said her father would be the candidate for the prime minister’s slot. “I urge the people to give him the two-thirds majority in the election so that he could change their destiny.”
She said Nawaz Sharif would overcome price hikes and unemployment.
“Nawaz Sharif has always come up to expectations of the people. He needs a clear mandate from the public this time too to steer the country out of the crisis, Ms Nawaz claimed, adding that good time was coming for Pakistan.
For the first time in recent years, Ms Nawaz spoke of reconciliation instead of teaching a lesson to her political opponents.
“The country needs unity and peace, and not (politics of) vengeance,” she stressed.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2023