LAHORE: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has called for political stability in the country, saying it is a prerequisite for economic stability and his elder brother Nawaz Sharif will rid the country of economic problems as he is reaching the country on Oct 21.

The former prime minister was speaking at a traders’ convention here on Thursday where the media was not allowed.

The PML-N official media provided the live streaming of Shehbaz’s speech to the private TV channels. The decision to disallow the media for the event was apparently taken to discourage reporting on any ‘unpleasant’ incident which the party president experienced during his visit to his constituency last week.

Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz told the traders that how important it was for them to reach Minar-i-Pakistan on Oct 21 to welcome former premier Nawaz Sharif’s homecoming as he was returning to bring prosperity in the country.

Says political stability must for economic revival

“If you (traders) want to rid of financial problems you will have to give rousing welcome to Nawaz Sharif. He is coming back to put the country on the road to progress,” he maintained and added that his party wanted that traders’ business should flourish but it was only possible if there was a political stability in the country without which the economic stability couldn’t be achieved.

Shehbaz Sharif told the traders how difficult it was for his party to stay in power for 16 months after toppling Imran Khan’s government in April 2022. “We had to save the state at the cost of our politics. But as the state is safe now our politics will be safe too,” he said.

Recalling how 24 years ago on Oct 12 his elder brother’s government was sent packing by Gen Musharraf, Shehbaz said: “The man who conducted nuclear tests in 1998 was removed through a martial law. Similarly, in his third stint as premier he brought CPEC to the country and ended loadshedding and then his government was toppled and the people had to face the brunt of this decision,” he said.

Mr Shehbaz indirectly blamed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan for polarization in the country.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif arrived in Jeddah from the UK on Thursday where he will perform Umrah. He is staying with his son Hussain Sharif in Saudi Arabia and will leave for Pakistan via Dubai on Oct 21.

Nawaz, who had been in self-imposed exile since 2019, had left for London in the middle of his seven-year jail term on medical grounds. During these four years, he was declared a proclaimed offender in the Al Azizia and Avenfield graft cases for his continuous absence from proceedings.

FIR on halting Shehbaz’s car

Meanwhile, the Lahore police registered an FIR against 90 people who had stopped the car of Shehbaz Sharif during his visit to his constituency in Kahna last week.

A good number of people had stopped his car and asked to play his role in resolving their sanitation and road project in Kahna.

The PML-N workers initially had a clash with them as one of them had raised a slogan in Imran Khan’s favour but Shehbaz asked the workers to let them approach him. When asked whether the FIR against the 90 protesters had been instituted at the behest of Mr Shehbaz, PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said: “This is not true. To the contrary, the moment it was brought to Shehbaz sb’s notice he conveyed a clear message to Lahore police to quash this FIR and take no action at all as as no such incident has taken place and the CCPO has confirmed that it is quashed.”

She further said that Mr Shehabz had met the representatives who were demanding drainage works the next morning at his residence and solved their problem amicably.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2023

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