Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader, Nawaz Sharif, took a swipe at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan without directly naming him during a rally in Swat on Thursday. Sharif questioned the fulfilment of promises made by Khan during his tenure in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), accusing him of deceiving the people.
Addressing a spirited crowd, Sharif questioned the efficacy of Khan’s pledge to generate 10 million jobs and provide five million houses. “Raise your hands and tell me how many people here got one of the five million houses,” he challenged the audience, highlighting the alleged failure of the promises made by Khan’s government.
“The people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are very simple people; are you [Imran Khan] not ashamed to deceive them? Why were false promises made to the public? You secured votes by playing with people’s emotions; later, they were neither given jobs nor any relief,” Sharif asserted, criticising the credibility of the commitments made by the PTI founder.
Sharif went on to express his scepticism about the success of the “billion tree tsunami” project, a cornerstone initiative of Khan’s government. “I have come to see the whole way, but I did not see any ‘one billion tree tsunami.’ He played with your emotions and took your vote, and later neither gave you a job nor any relief… in the process, you destroyed the old Pakistan as well,” Sharif remarked, referencing Khan’s slogan of building a new Pakistan.
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The PML-N supremo took pride in his own government’s accomplishments, emphasising that his administration ended electricity load shedding in Pakistan. He questioned the wisdom of the people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for supporting Khan despite the achievements of his government.
“If there was Nawaz Sharif’s government here, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would have been the most beautiful province. I want to ask you why you gave him [Imran Khan] a chance. He has been exported from this province to Punjab,” Sharif declared, urging the public to reflect on their past choices.
In a plea to the people, Sharif urged them to seek forgiveness from Allah and emphasised the importance of making informed decisions in the upcoming elections. “It is not right to try again and again those whom you have tried before… you have been cheated once; now don’t cheat me on February 8,” he cautioned.
The three-time prime minister also reflected on infrastructure development, citing the construction of the Lowari Tunnel during his government’s tenure. He asked the crowd to compare these achievements with those of the PTI government and promised a brighter future for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa if they chose to vote for PML-N in the upcoming elections.