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What happened in country during past 70 years is very unfortunate: Nawaz Sharif

29 November, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday vowed to continue his “struggle for democracy”, saying that what happened in the country during the past 70 years was very unfortunate.

Talking to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supporters at the Punjab House, the party president said, “Sometimes the prime minister is removed, at others he is hanged. Sometimes he is arrested and at others sent into exile.”

He said that he would continue the struggle for democracy with his workers and other political parties. He said that all civilised countries in the world had progressed through democracy, while dictatorships had failed to deliver everywhere.

He continued his criticism of the Panama Papers verdict, reiterating that “the people had rejected the court’s decision”. “Party workers and the people of Pakistan are standing with me,” he said.

He branded the directions Pakistan had been given for the past 70 years by leaders “nothing less than saddening”.

The former premier urged workers of the PML-N to put up a joint struggle with other parliamentary parties to strengthen democracy in Pakistan.

Earlier, the ousted premier presided over a meeting of leaders of the political party and deliberated over the situation that has developed after a security operation was launched in Faizabad.

Reportedly, he expressed resentment over alleged failure of the civil administration to have the 21-day sit-in protest end without resorting to coercive methods that caused countrywide chaos that lasted two days.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal responded by saying that the administration and police launched a crackdown on the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) orders and that he wanted to resolve the matter with negotiations. Parliamentary parties’ stance over Law Minister Zahid Hamid’s resignation was disappointing, he added.

Nawaz directed the officials concerning to determine the names of those responsible for the failure of the operation. On the other hand, the ongoing political situation in the country and the government’s performance in development projects were also discussed at the meeting.

Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Maryam Nawaz, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, State Minister Daniyal Azizi, Senator Asif Kirmani, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Musadik Malik, Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar, Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Parliamentary Secretary Maiza Hameed, Member of National Assembly (MNA) Zeb Jaffar and Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry also attended the meeting.

In a separate meeting with close aides Raja Zafarul Haq, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Asif Kirmani, Tariq Fatemi and Ameer Muqam, Nawaz discussed the legal and political course of action following his appearances at the accountability court.

He also met Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who informed him of his meetings with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership, sources said. The PML-N chief’s appearance in PkMAP’s gathering in Quetta also came under discussion.

He left for Lahore following the meetings accompanied by his daughter Maryam Nawaz. While talking to the media after the meetings, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the country needed to move on from what had happened in the past few days.

She criticised the PPP for becoming a hurdle in the delimitation bill. “The people will not forgive them if the elections are delayed,” she warned. The minister confirmed Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan amidst a spat between the latter and incumbent Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, but said that she did not know what happened in the meeting.

Earlier, Nawaz along with Maryam and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared in the court for the hearing of Azizia Steel Mills, London flats and Flagship Investment references.

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