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PML-N top priority is to ensure sanctity of vote: Nawaz Sharif

15 August, 2017

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LAHORE: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that top priority of the next Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would be to ensure ‘sanctity of vote’ and that he would do his utmost for the attainment of this objective.

“Votes of people should be respected and sanctity of ballot must be maintained for putting the country on track of progress and prosperity,” he told media after visiting Mazar-e-Iqbal to offer prayers and lay floral wreath. Criticising the apex court decision to oust him, Nawaz said had the sanctity of the vote been respected, the country would not have been divided into two parts in 1971. “Circus being played for last 70 years should stop now... otherwise it may harm the integrity of the country,” he said.

The former prime minister said that Pakistan was created through the power of vote, but after the sad demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Liaqat Ali Khan the country left its track which led to the dismembering of Pakistan in 1971. “We have learnt no lesson from the Fall of Dhaka... the disrespect of people’s mandate and vote continues even today,” he said, adding that democracy was the other name of respecting people’s votes and their choices.

The former prime minister said Pakistan was not treading the path of democracy that was set by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. However, he added, time has come to bring Pakistan back on the path of progress. “On the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan, we have to vow to always respect people’s choices,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif said a sea of people travelled with his caravan from Islamabad to Lahore at GT Road because people have seen a lot of development during his four years of rule. “People have the realisation that the country is moving forward on the path of development and progress. I have seen light of hope in the eyes of the youth,” he said, adding the Supreme Court verdict in Panama Papers case had badly impacted the economy of the country as well.

Nawaz maintained that the independence of Pakistan cannot be celebrated with fervour as the country has been detached from an essential part that belonged to it. He said the country would have been moving towards development at a faster pace had Bangladesh still been part of the Pakistan.

Nevertheless, Nawaz said, his government fulfilled the promises it had made to the people during campaign for 2013 general election. “Everyone saw a storm of people who accompanied us to Lahore. They did not come for nothing... they have witnessed prosperity coming to Pakistan during our government and their basic necessities were being fulfilled.”

The deposed prime minister said his priority would be provision of cheap and speedy justice to the people after coming into power in 2018 general elections. “If needed, we will make constitutional amendments and enact new laws so that cases are decided in days and weeks and not at the present pace where cases of days of grandfathers are being followed by the grandsons,” he said, adding the government would also provide legal support to poor people who cannot afford to higher legal services to proceed with the cases. He said his government would also ensure provision of cheaper houses to the poor people.

The former prime minister said his government did enormous development work during four years of its tenure. “A year was still left to go in which we would have done more... we were planning to bring down the rates of electricity and provide people with affordable justice,” he said.

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