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I am not just a name, but an ideology: Nawaz Sharif

20 November, 2017

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ABBOTTABAD: Former PM Nawaz Sharif on Sunday told a public gathering in Abbottabad that he was not just a name, but an ideology. “This jalsa (public gathering) is a referendum,” he said while addressing the people gathered at the grounds of Abbottabad Post Graduate College. He was accompanied by Adviser to PM Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi and the local party leadership.

Sharif asked for public support to challenge the top court’s decision in Panama Papers case, saying: “I have come to you [the people of Abbotabad] with a request to reconsider my case.”

Earlier in the day, Sharif had reached Islamabad from Lahore from where he departed for Murree via a private flight. He held a meeting with the party ally Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who heads Balochistan-based Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), within the airport premises before leaving for Murree. They discussed the ongoing political situation in the country, according to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) sources.

During Sunday’s gathering in the key city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sharif also asked for help to “restore the sanctity of vote”, adding that if they supported him (Nawaz Sharif), everything would change.

He said that the PML-N had come to power after obtaining public mandate in 2013 general elections. “We got rid of 20 hours long load shedding and routed out extremism and terrorism right from its beginnings which was touching to highest peak,” he said.

The PML-N president, who formally launched his party’s campaign for the upcoming general election, told his supporters that “no court’s decision can break the ties” between him and his following in Abbottabad.

He recalled developments made by his government since 2013, including infrastructural and power projects. “The Haripur to Havelian Motorway will be completed shortly. I may not be prime minister anymore, but the motorway will continue being built.”

“People speak of a ‘minus-Nawaz Sharif formula’. But Nawaz Sharif is an ideology and this ideology will bring revolutionary change across Pakistan,” he said. “Nawaz Sharif is not a loser. If he was a loser, you and I would not be friends,” he told the crowd. “Will you support me in this struggle?”

“Today, I can remember 2013. The same passion was present then,” he told the participants.

The ousted premier claimed that not a single penny’s worth of corruption had been proved against him or his family members. “When all efforts to do so were unsuccessful, the SC said that I did not take a salary from my son, so I was disqualified,” he said.

Sharif reiterated the same statements he has been making since he was disqualified: asking the public whether they accepted the decision “these five people” ? the SC bench ? had made for the people of Pakistan, and told the crowd that they would have to side with him if they did not.

He claimed the court had no qualms about taking an oath from former president Pervez Musharraf. “That’s why the caravan keeps getting looted,” he said, referring to a small quotation in the SC order on the judgement, “And democracy kept going off the rails.”

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