–Ousted PM Nawaz Sharif tells party leaders to plan strategy for protests against rising inflation after Eidul Fitr
LAHORE: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday gave the go-ahead to his party’s leaders and supporters to launch an anti-government movement over rising inflation and devaluation of the rupee against the US dollar after Eidul Fitr, a day after former president Asif Zardari announced a similar movement against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
According to reports, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo gave the directions during a meeting with party leaders who called on him at the Kot Lakhpat Jail where he is serving a seven-year jail term in the Al-Azizia case.
Informed sources said that Nawaz directed the PML-N leadership to convene a meeting to work out a strategy in this regard.
Sources said that Nawaz Sharif will be given a briefing on the nature of the agitation drive by party leaders during their next meeting with him. PML-N stalwart and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been tasked to convene meetings of the party’s central and provincial leadership.
Talking to the party leaders, Sharif said the PML-N will no longer remain silent over soaring inflation. “The government’s attitude towards the people is unacceptable at any cost,” he said.
He said he became worried after going through news reports about inflation and the appreciation of the dollar against the rupee.
Sharif also felicitated the newly-appointed party leaders and directed the party’s central and provincial leaders to become a voice of the people reeling under skyrocketing prices of essential items and inflation.
He said the incumbent government has no intention to give any relief to the masses.
Unfortunately, foreign currency is unavailable in the open market, he lamented, adding that the previous PML-N government had stablised the rupee-dollar parity and brought the country on a path of progress.
In a tweet after meeting with her father, Maryam Nawaz said Nawaz Sharif is “leader of the masses.”
She said the PML-N supremo was “more concerned about the rapid economic deterioration & the common man’s ordeal than his frail health.”
“PML-N must respond to the aspirations of the masses, stand with them & become their voice,” Maryam quoted him as having said.
Earlier, upon arrival at Kot Lakhpat jail, she tweeted: “Entering Kotlakhpat jail to meet MNS. Will convey your good wishes & prayers Insha’Allah. God bless you all.”
On Wednesday, former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari had said that his party is planning to launch an organised movement against the PTI government over rising inflation after Eidul Fitr.
“The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the economy cannot run together,” said the former president while speaking to reporters outside the Islamabad High Court.
In a comment on PTI’s amnesty scheme, the ex-president said it was no different than past schemes.