- Maryam says Zardari, Imran are no different
- Hamaz Shehbaz flanks uncle, cousin during rally
NANKANA SAHIB: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday termed Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan “pawns”, saying both are deceiving the nation as “pawns never serve people”.
Addressing a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) rally in Sangla Hill, Nankana Sahib, former PML-N chief, now party’s Quaid, said those who were calling thieves each other are now in cahoots. “Fear of my popularity has forced my rivals to make an alliance,” Nawaz went on to claim.
Nawaz Sharif was alluding to the recent alliance of the PPP and PTI during the elections for the top slots of the Senate, wherein the PTI backed Saleem Mandviwalla, then PPP senator, for the post of the deputy chairmanship.
He also termed Imran Khan and Ali Zardari two sides of the same coin for going into the alliance.
Touting his party for launching development projects during its tenure, the former premier said that the PML-N delivered through its performance and “ended” the menace of load shedding across the country.
He went on tell people present at the rally that the PML-N has also initiated educational and development projects in the district of Nankana Sahib.
Addressing the rally before her father, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, while referring to the so-called alliance of the two parties, said votes given to the PTI chief will go to the box of Zardari and vice versa as “both are same from the inside”.
Maryam said that the public has seen “the farce which ensued in the Senate polls” and claimed that Imran and Zardari have covertly shaken hands out of fear of lion – the electoral symbol of PML-N– and added that the way these polls took place had damaged the sanctity of vote.
“What will they say when they come to the public to ask for votes?” Maryam said, accusing Imran and Zardari of political wheeling and dealing. “The ladla (blue-eyed) will say, ‘I have sold your votes’ and the chaheeta (darling) will say ‘I have bought your votes’.”
Before Maryam, Hamaz Shehbaz, who was accompanying his uncle and cousin for the first time since their recent spree of political rallies, also criticised Imran Khan for doing a politics of containers and sit-ins.
He said the PML-N workers had always stood firm with the former prime minister. He too said that due to Nawaz Sharif and his efforts the country came out of the shadows of darkness.
On stage, Hamza also shared two incidents of Nawaz Sharif’s “commitment to the people and his party workers”.
He said Nawaz was caught in firing during his visit to a college in Lahore in 1993, but he had refused to take shelter in the car, saying, “How could I bail out on my party workers who too are exposed to the firing”.
In another incident, Hamza told the roaring crowd that despite “threats” to his life during the Lawyers Movement, Nawaz had refused to back off, saying he would keep his promise even at the cost of his life.
The PML-N has been holding a series of rallies across the country, mustering support for its political narrative ahead of the general polls. The PML-N’s pre-election campaign revolves around the “sanctity of vote” and promises of judicial reforms. The respect for vote narrative has been adopted by the PML-N in the aftermath of Nawaz’s disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.