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Nawaz eyes avenging his ouster thru election win.

Byline: Ali Abid

SHEIKHUPURA -- Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said that people will take revenge from those behind his disqualification through the power of vote, as he vowed to clean sweep this year's general elections.

Nawaz , along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz , was in Sheikhupura on Sunday to address a public rally, held as part of ruling party's mass contact campaign that has witnessed a surge with Lodhran by-polls victory.

This was second major show of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in as many days, as the duo as well as Shehbaz Sharif had addressed a workers' convention in Lodhran on Saturday where the ousted PM expressed the hope that whole country would vote for them in 2018 elections to vindicate his stance.

Maryam also addressed the huge crowd at the Company Bagh, backing his father's claim that he was 'punished' for serving the people. She told their supporters that through disqualifying Nawaz , the Supreme Court had actually discredited their votes.

Nawaz in his speech said the game of overthrowing elected governments must stop. He said he was not scared of anyone but the Almighty and he, with people's support, will change this 70-year-old tradition and establish the sanctity of vote.

He said none of their opponents had ever undertaken even a single development project. 'Ask the PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party), ask the party of the blue-eyed boy (Imran Khan) the name of a single project that they have either started or completed.'

Taking another jibe at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the deposed prime minister said that in the upcoming election the ballot boxes of those waiting for umpire's finger will remain empty and the masses will take revenge from those responsible for ousting him.

'We already bid the PPP goodbye, and now the time has come to see off the people who talk about the umpire's finger,' he said in reference to Imran Khan, who during his party's 2014 sit-in repeatedly said the 'umpire [army] was about to raise his finger [to oust the Nawaz government]'.

Nawaz Sharif claimed that Peshawar and Karachi had been ruined by the PTI and PPP whereas his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, had launched and completed a record number of development projects very expeditiously making Lahore the most beautiful city of the country.

He said Pakistan had been touching new highs of progress and his government had secured foreign investment of $56 billion when he was ousted. He asked whether he was disqualified for his service to the nation, as he eliminated terrorism and loadshedding, and started work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

'Muje Kyun Nikala [Why was I ousted]?' he asked, repeating his famous question that has become a rallying cry among his supports, and a punch line for his opponents to mock him.

'Do you people realise the reason behind my ouster ?', he asked, and then responded to his own question, saying that he knew he had been disqualified as 'punishment' for making motorways in the 1990s, for making Pakistan a nuclear power and then pushing an agenda of development.

Maryam

Maryam Nawaz , who took the stage before her father, asked the cheering supporters if they agreed with the Supreme Court's decision to disqualify Nawaz as prime minister. 'This is not just a case against Nawaz Sharif, it is a case against each person who voted for him,' she held.

Despite their votes, Nawaz was not allowed to finish his term, and this happened with him not for once but thrice, she said. 'Each time he was ousted by those who wish to put a stop to your votes,' she claimed. 'Will the same be allowed to keep happening, or will you do something about it?' she asked the crowd.

Maryam said that this happens with Nawaz Sharif again and again because whenever he comes to power, he serves the public, provides them power, and lunches impressive development programs. And in return, he receives people's affection.

Gold crown for the 'heiress'

Some wealthy supporters of PML-N had prepared a gold crown studded with diamonds to present it as a gift to Maryam, who is considered to be the political heir-apparent to her father.

A local traders' body head told a TV channel that the gold used in the crown weighed 8 tolas [80 grams]. The diamonds however were more expensive, he said, without revealing the exact price.
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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 19, 2018
Words:832
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