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Shehbaz, Dar say Nawaz to focus on ‘economy’ during PML-N election campaign

Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif (L) and ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar. — PID/APP
  • Shehbaz urges PML-N leaders, workers to stay in Pakistan till Oct 21.
  • Former PM says PML-N will go to public based on their performance.
  • Maryam Nawaz to arrive in Pakistan tomorrow (Tuesday).

LONDON: Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar have said that “economy” will be Nawaz Sharif’s narrative in the upcoming elections, with a promise to take Pakistan to the path of development again if given a mandate by the electorate.

Speaking to the media after meeting Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz at Thornhope House, both Shehbaz and Dar said that the narrative of the PML-N will be defined by the fact that Pakistan progressed under Nawaz from 2013 till 2017 and then his government was dislodged and the journey of Pakistan’s economic progress was halted.

Shehbaz said that Nawaz Sharif’s programme for Pakistan return was final. “The programme is final for October 21 and Mian Nawaz Sharif is returning to Pakistan. There will be a historic welcome for him.”

He added: “I appeal to all PML-N representatives, leaders and workers to travel internationally after October 21 and prepare for a resounding welcome for Nawaz Sharif. There are many who wish to meet their leader in London but now they should plan to meet him in Pakistan and welcome him there.”

When asked by Geo News what would be PML-N’s narrative ahead of the general elections, Shahbaz clearly said that Nawaz and the PML-N would go to the public on the basis of their performance of delivery and economic development under the tenures.

“Nawaz Sharif is the builder of Pakistan. He ended 20-hour load-shedding, facilitated billions in investment into CPEC, produced electricity of 12,000 megawatts, boosted employment, agriculture and exports; industries started working again; inflation was at its lowest; GDP was higher than 6.5%. Nawaz Sharif is returning to continue that same journey for prosperity in the country, for the people of Pakistan,” Shehbaz said.

Dar said that the PML-N’s narrative is simple and straight. 

Pakistan was declared an unstable country before 2013 and it was said that Pakistan may default but within a few years but their party took the country to new heights of success, he added.

“We turned around Pakistan’s economy and made the Pakistan Stock Exchange into one of the best-performing markets after winning elections in 2013. Within 3 years, GDP growth and reserves increased. Our narrative is that before the Panama and Dawn Leaks conspiracies, Pakistan became the world’s 24th largest economy and Pakistan was set to become the premier club of the world,” the former financial czar said.

He added, “The Imran Khan experiment made Pakistan the 42nd economy. Our narrative is that we need to make Pakistan best performing again, to the same level of growth and progress as it was in 2013-2017. Under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N has done this before and we are capable of doing it again if a mandate is given. Our narrative is to reverse the destruction caused by the Imran Khan government.”

On the other hand, PML-N leader Malik Ahmed Khan said that the meetings in London have concluded. “All conversations are fundamentally about Nawaz Sharif’s return and welcome. We are really looking forward to it.”

When asked about Nawaz Sharif’s legal challenges, Khan said: “The legal process for the next steps in his cases is clearly laid out in the court orders. In the IHC order, or the conviction order, the processes for relief or appeal are clearly set out. There are some things Nawaz will get as a matter of right. In absentia, appeals can’t be heard but the court has said when he [Nawaz] returns we will retake them. He is granted access to the court in those orders.”

Maryam Nawaz also attended the meetings but did not answer any questions from the media. However, Hussain Nawaz said that Maryam will be leaving for Pakistan on Monday night and reach Islamabad on Tuesday.

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