LAHORE, Nov 12: Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday that a process of dividing established political parties to create ‘puppet parties’ was being repeated despite disastrous results in the past like derailment of democracy and disintegration of the country.
“It is unfortunate that no one has learned a lesson from history and the process is repeated again and again,” he said during a meeting with leaders of two warring factions of his party from Faisalabad. Mr Sharif had summoned the squabbling members to Lahore in an attempt to bridge their differences.
The groups, led by MNA Abid Sher Ali and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, have brought about a split in the Faisalabad chapter of the party that threatens to spoil a PML’s public meeting scheduled for next Sunday. The event is important for the PML-N in the wake of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan’s impressive show in Lahore on Oct 30.
According to party sources, Mr Sharif has become “increasingly aware of the importance of getting his organisational act together” to meet the challenges thrown up by a fired up Imran Khan.
The former premier also appears to have realised that the “establishment could spoil his chances of winning the next elections by putting put such political aberrations”, said an observer.
That’s why he has become more sensitive about the Faisalabad gathering –the first show of popular strength by his party after PTI’s show.
“If they want to play this game through pawns, we are ready to face them,” he said, apparently referring to Mr Khan and his party.
“Had our government not been toppled, Pakistan would have been the most prosperous country of the region. There was no shortage of electricity, industries were not pulling their shutters down and there was neither unemployment nor the menace of terrorism.”
The PML-N chief claimed that by freeing a ‘slave economy’, he had started 21 years ago the process of change that people were talking about today.
“A free economy was provided to the country and the nation and the present modern economic structure is based on our policies which were also praised and followed by our neighbours.”After coming to power, the PML-N executed an economic reforms agenda but the supporters of the old and slave economy gathered around the president of that time and became active to stop the process of change; they wanted to maintain their possession on industries and banks, he said. “They were in favour of having complete control over transfer of foreign exchange and against modern infrastructure and they even wanted to continue the policy of making people wait for years for a telephone connection but we freed the economy. We constructed airports, ports and motorways and removed the restrictions on foreign exchange.
“We restored the self-respect of Pakistanis working abroad by setting up green channels at airports. We gave these gifts to the nation but our government was toppled three years before completing its tenure and we have paid the price of serving the nation.”
He said history had proved that the Lahore Declaration had opened the vistas of peace and development in the region. The prime minister of India came to Minar-i-Pakistan and announced acceptance of the existence of Pakistan at the place where the Muslim League had got approved the Pakistan Resolution under the leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam.
“Those opposing the move at that time have now been forced to follow that path and the time has proven our decisions correct. Both the countries have adopted this stance today but those who wasted 13 years of the nation are not seen anywhere.
“Had this time not been wasted, all issues, including Kashmir, would have been resolved and the country put on the road to progress.”
He said: “We know better what change is, how it is brought and what price is paid for it.”
Mr Sharif said the PML-N had the spirit of sacrifice and instead of bowing it opposed those who stopped the process of change.
CHAUDHRY NISAR: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also alleged at a press conference that the establishment was carving out ‘another Q-League’ by supporting Mr Khan, but said the move would not benefit anyone as had happened in the past.
He said the PML-Q had been created during dictatorship but the PTI was being created during the ‘so-called’ democratic set-up. He said people were watching the ‘puppet show’ and they knew who was pulling the strings.
“If Imran Khan has any evidence about hidden assets of the Sharifs, he should take the matter to courts instead of holding a media trial,” he said and added: “The course of history cannot be changed with one rally.”