Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif. - AP Photo

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif said here on Friday that the government would have to get the country cleared of American agents (contractors) and drone attacks stopped in exchange for reopening routes for Nato supplies.

He was addressing a meeting at which PML-Q’s provincial president Engineer Amir Muqam joined his party and announced the merger of his faction into the PML-N.

Mr Sharif said the government would have to stop allowing the use of bases in the country by foreign troops. Besides Nato trucks should be used only to carry foodstuff through Pakistan.

“The Parliamentary Committee on National Security is already working on the issue and my party has expressed its stance,” he said, adding that the PML-N would not support reopening of the Nato supply unless these conditions were met.

He urged the United States to use its influence to get the Kashmir issue resolved as lives of innocent people in the occupied territory could be saved.

He condemned the American announcement of a bounty on Hafiz Saeed’s head and said the US-Pakistan relations could not improve unless the US stopped pursuing double standards.

“The meetings of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security will be a futile exercise if the US did not change its policy towards Pakistan,” he said.

He said the government would have to change its foreign policy and stop compromising on national security and sovereignty. Otherwise, development and peace in the country would remain only a dream.

He accused the government of indulging in corruption and destroying national institutions like PIA and Pakistan Railways. Because of its faulty policies, he said, the energy crisis was worsening by the day.

Criticising the role of military dictators, he said, they tried to divide political parties, encouraged non-party elections and promoted sectarianism. Referring to the government’s performance during the past four years, he said it failed to resolve the energy crisis, curb terrorism and sectarianism, steer the country out of financial crisis and focused only on accumulating wealth.

“The country would not have faced the financial crisis and law and order problem if the PML-N government had not been removed in 1997 when it was in a position to complete the planned motorways from Peshawar to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries,” he said.

Commenting on remarks made by President Asif Ali Zardari, he said he would not use the same language because the nation was the better judge.

“Everyone knows that the Musharraf government did not allow members of my family to attend the funeral of my father in Lahore,” he said.

He asked the government to end corruption, take up welfare projects and his party would support it in the best interests of the nation.

PML-N leaders Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Pir Sabir Shah, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Abbasi, Rehmat Salam Khattak and Farid Toofan were present on the occasion.