ISLAMABAD: “Even in defeat we have won, and even with your victory you have lost,” a charged Nawaz Sharif decried the opposition that allied against his party in the Senate elections to be nothing more than wind-up-toys that bowed in unison.
Addressing the Central General Council meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday, the former prime minister asked, “Is this the new Pakistan?”
Nawaz termed the coming together of parties – PPP and PTI – something the country has never witnessed before.
He told a charged crowd, that the opposition leaders actions contradict their statements, calling on his supporters to make the upcoming general elections a referendum against his disqualification.
After Nawaz formally announced his brother Shehbaz as the party’s new president – a decision he said was taken due to circumstances beyond their control – the former prime minister said the PML-N manifesto would consist of only four words before he announced the battle cry demanding respect for the vote (vote ko izzat do) which echoed through the Islamabad Convention Centre.
“You’ll be respected if the vote is respected,” asserted Nawaz.
“When I look back, I don’t understand why a premier with millions of votes was removed from office,” he told a charged crowd of supporters, adding that the move sent the country into darkness.
Nawaz claimed that the prime minister often complains to him that he [Nawaz] planned so many development projects that Abbasi gets tired of inaugurating them.
He confessed that he does not wish to inaugurate development projects now as he, too, is only human. He was referring to the prime minister’s offer of inaugurating projects which he worked on personally.
The three-time premier recalled the dismal state of affairs when the PML-N took the reins of government in 2013.
Hitting out at his chief political opponent Imran Khan, Nawaz said you failed to bring about your promised ‘change’.
He said they are not leaders but an embarrassment.
Nawaz is and will remain our Quaid: Shehbaz
Addressing the meeting earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Nawaz Sharif is, was and will remain the party’s Quaid.
Shehbaz thanked Nawaz, his brother, for entrusting the important party position to him.
“The world knows that injustice was served to our leader Nawaz,” Shehbaz told the party workers, “but I believe he will get justice.”
The PML-N president also lashed out at political opponents, saying they have done nothing but make tall claims while the government actually delivered to the people.
Earlier, Shehbaz was elected as the president of the PML-N.
Shehbaz was elected as permanent president of the party, after being appointed the interim president, as no one else from the party contested for the post.
The Punjab CM had submitted his nomination form to the party’s election commission earlier in the day.
The convention was attended by senior party leaders, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
On February 27, the PML-N’s Central Working Committee had elected Shehbaz as the interim president after he was nominated by Nawaz.
The committee had also elected Nawaz as lifetime Quaid of the party.
The CWC meeting was held after Nawaz was disqualified as the PML-N president following the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Elections Act 2017 case.
The apex court ruled that a person disqualified under Article 62 and 63 cannot serve as the head of a political party.