People to decide their future, reveal priorities on Feb 8: Shehbaz

LAHORE – The people of Pakistan would decide about their future on February 8, said PML-N President on Wednesday, adding that their voting trend was going to show their priorities, with the country facing challenges on political, economic, social and foreign fronts.

He told the digital media representatives at his party’s Model Town headquarters that Pakistan was left in the race towards economic development. “The February 8 elections are the most important in the country’s history”, the former prime minister said and added that one had to understand why other nations marched forward.

Pakistan’s history poses some very serious questions and one needs to analyse the history to find the answers, Shehbaz stressed, adding that the lesson learned would help in the future.

The PML-N president said they won the 2018 elections, but the party’s polling agents were removed and ballot papers stamped as the polling closed amid the shutdown of RTS (result transmission system) under an organised plan – a move that delayed the announcement of results.

Replying to various questions, Shehbaz listed the achievements of the PML-N governments in the past and rejected the impression of being close to the establishment. He spent in prison and faced excesses which wouldn’t have happened if he was shared the establishment’s thinking, Shehbaz explained.

Answering a question about the level-playing field and alleged victimisation of the former ruling party, he remarked that holding intraparty polls was PTI’s responsibility, “not us”.

Nawaz Sharif went through different phases during his 40-year long political career, Shehbaz said about elder Sharif who is eyeing a fourth term in office amid the claims that his politics has come to an end, and noted that the whole family faced all kinds of pressure and injustices, but remained steadfast and didn’t surrender.

About the IMF deal which has triggered rupee devaluation and record-high inflation, the former premier reminded the audience that it was the PTI which had inked the agreement with the world’s top lender, making it mandatory for Pakistan to accept the terms and conditions set by the Washington-based institution.

The coalition government had saved Pakistan from default during its 16-month long stint. Otherwise, the country would have been in much worse condition in Sri Lanka, he argued.