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How can you remove a sitting prime minister when he did not plunder money?: Nawaz Sharif

03 December, 2017

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QUETTA: Continuing with his criticism of the Supreme Court-sanctioned Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Panamagate case, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that no one could “minus” a person who had been “plus[ed]” by the public.

He was addressing a mammoth public gathering along with Mahmood Khan Achakzai, which had been organised by the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) to commemorate the 44th death anniversary of Khan Abdual Samad Khan Achakzai.

“You constituted a JIT from those six perfect diamonds and the same bench gave multiple verdicts… How can you remove a sitting prime minister when he did not plunder [public] money?” he asked.

“When you couldn’t find an excuse for minus-one [formula], you disqualified a prime minister for not receiving a salary from his son.”

After requesting the organisers to remove of the bulletproof glass screen from the dais, Nawaz paid glowing tribute to Khan Abdul Samad Khan Achazkzai. “I want no barrier between you and I. My security lies in the hands of God and you are my security,” said the emboldened Nawaz. “My relationship with you is ideological and I will never give up my ideology.”

Amidst the applause of the crowd, Nawaz praised Mahmood Khan Achakzai and said, “My relationship with Achakzai is ideological. I am taking forward your mission because you always fought against dictatorship. Today I confess that you are a brave and truthful man and I will never abandon you.”

“I am grateful that the PkMAP invited me to the death anniversary of the great son of the subcontinent and a freedom fighter who spent 24 years behind bars for upholding the constitution, democracy and the rule of law.”

The thrice removed prime minister criticised the decision to dismiss him from office. “Those who had taken oath under the PCO called me dishonest. This country does not belong to any institution but to the people and they have the right to decide its destiny. People will take to the streets if anything happened to democracy and constitution,” warned the former prime minister.

“Final decision will come from the people in 2018 who will give their verdict. The entire nation will march for the sanctity of the ballot, which cannot be changed by either two or five people,” said Nawaz Sharif, once again obliquely hinting at the bench that disqualified him.

Nawaz also shed light on the development work and said that motorways and road networks were established during his tenure. He said that some were completed while others were under construction. The crowds cheered louder when he informed them that Quetta would soon be connected to Islamabad via Hasan Abdal and in a short time gas pipeline would reach Gulistan to be extended to Chaman. “I read in Abdual Samad Khan’s books they way he envied the roads of Kabul while writing about his visit to Afghanistan. Mahmood Khan, today there are better roads in Pakistan, and Pakistan and Afghanistan will further make progress,” said Nawaz.

In his address, the PML-N president also talked about his party’s performance in the energy sector. “When I took over as prime minister, the country was experiencing 20 hours of load shedding, but now we are gradually progressing towards generating surplus power,” said Nawaz.

The dais was then taken by Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who, in his characteristically bold oratory, spoke about the rule of democracy and sanctity of the constitution.

While addressing the gathering, he articulated that Pakistan was meant for democracy and they would not allow anybody to fail the state by tampering with the constitution and derailing democracy. “Pakistan is on the brink of a critical condition. There is a clash between the democratic and undemocratic forces, and democrats have to win this fight for the survival and future of this country,” he said.

“I am not with Nawaz Sharif but with his stance for democracy, civilian supremacy and sanctity of the ballot, and as long as he adheres to these principles I will be with him no mater what the cost,” said Achakzai. In a reminder to the PML-N president’s 1990 visit to Balochistan, Achakzai said that his party had welcomed Nawaz in Balochistan with black flags at that time, but they were together now just because of that ideology.

“The population of the entire Balochistan province is equal to the population of a big district in Punjab. It has natural resources worth trillions, but it is the poorest region of the country,” lamented Achakzai.

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