News Analysis |
The ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former first daughter Maryam Safdar addressed a public rally in Swat. Swat is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is ruling. Both leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) slammed Imran Khan for being unable to uplift the status of people of KPK. Nawaz Sharif and his daughter criticized the judiciary, PTI’s government in KPK and made strong comments about the recent Senate elections where their party (PML-N) had to experience a miserable defeat while electing the chairman senate.
Maryam Nawaz said that decision, taken for vengeance, will not be accepted. She also pointed out that Nawaz Sharif was being victimized by all means but nobody was serious to get former dictator Pervez Musharraf back. PML-N is critical of the superior courts of Pakistan for ordering a probe into “glaring disparities in the family’s known sources of income and their actual wealth”. Since, after the verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Panamagate saga, the PML-N leadership has been smashing the judiciary during their press conferences and public meetings.
Some of the work done by Imran’s PTI in the province of KPK has been acknowledged by the SC of Pakistan and international organizations. It included reforms in de-politicizing the police, health and education systems of the province.
Furthermore, Maryam said Imran and Zardari are brothers as they formed an alliance during the election of chairman senate. “Imran Khan would ask his voters to vote for arrow [PPP’s election symbol] in the next elections,” she said. “Imran and Zardari are brothers and the flag that they have come under is not of public’s”.
Maryam exerted to the people of Swat that their votes have been misused. She made a point that they (people of Swat) voted for the PTI but he (Imran Khan) had instead voted for PPP. She urged people not to vote for the PTI, whose chairman does not regard the sanctity of the vote. “You people voted for his party [PTI] in the 2013 election and he took your vote and placed it at Zardari’s feet during the Senate elections,” she stated.
She also advised Imran that “he should just tell people to vote directly for the arrow instead of getting them to vote for the bat.” During the election of Chairman Senate PTI and PPP decided to agree on brining a first-man in the senate from the small province Balochistan. This alliance between the PPP and PTI defeated the ruling party despite having a greater number of seats in the senate. Nawaz and his party called this election only a mock and sheer demonstration of horse-trading.
Moreover, Maryam also bashed Imran Khan for wasting his time in toppling the government of PML-N and not focusing on the development of the people of KPK. “When you voted for the PTI in the last election, you hoped Imran will work for you, make new roads in Swat, however, he spent the whole term in blocking roads in Punjab and the federal capital.”
Maryam Nawaz said that decision, taken for vengeance, will not be accepted. She also pointed out that Nawaz Sharif was being victimized by all means but nobody was serious to get former dictator Pervez Musharraf back.
Imran Khan had managed to organize a long sit-in in the federal capital against the alleged rigging in the general elections of 2013. Imran accused the ruling party for misuse of authority to manage the electoral win in 2013 general elections. “Where was Imran when floods hit Swat? Or when the dengue infection was prevalent here? Let me tell you where he was, he was in the federal capital being a pawn in someone else’s efforts to topple the government,” she further said.
Nawaz Sharif also smashed the judiciary and Imran Khan during his address. He repeatedly reminded of people his efforts in the eradication of terrorism from Karachi and bringing Internally Displaced People (IDPs) back to their homes. “You people had to leave your homes in the past, but who managed to bring you back?” He wanted his name to be the answer and wanted to remind the people that only he, Nawaz Sharif, has come to their rescue every time there was a problematic situation.
“We managed to bring you back to your homes, just like we brought peace back to Karachi. These were the things your elected leader was supposed to do for you, however, he did not,” he said. Nawaz further took the credit of bringing peace in Swat where Imran’s PTI is in power. “Malala has come back to Pakistan,” he maintained, “because of the peace that has returned to your area, tell me, do I lie when I say that we have brought peace back to Swat?
When you voted for the PTI in the last election, you hoped Imran will work for you, make new roads in Swat, however, he spent the whole term in blocking roads in Punjab and the federal capital.
He also asked the people of KPK to wake-up and do not vote for the PTI if they wanted peace, prosperity and development in their region. “Oh people of Swat, do not make the same mistake again, do not elect a leader who does not care for you,” he concluded.
Nawaz’s Political Strategy to counter formidable Imran Khan
Some of the work done by Imran’s PTI in the province of KPK has been acknowledged by the SC of Pakistan and international organizations. It included reforms in de-politicizing the police, health and education systems of the province. Imran Khan’s idea of planting trees has also been praised by international organization. But Imran Khan remained unable to do any publicity oriented project like the PML-N did in Lahore to seek political support. Moreover, Imran Khan also could not come up with any strong narrative to counter Nawaz’s “victim card narrative” after his disqualification from the SC of Pakistan. Imran Khan needs to stay in touch with the people of his own province and let them know what he has done for them.