PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said Prime Minister Imran Khan is “yearning” to see him “go to jail” but he considers it a small price in the service of the nation.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, he vowed that he and party supremo Nawaz Sharif “stand by Pakistan” and will “play their role to get the country back on track”.
“We have struggled in the past and will continue to do so. Even if we have to go to jail we will, it is not a big price to pay,” he said.
Shehbaz warned that in the event he goes to jail, “as is Imran Khan’s yearning”, his fellow party members will bring forth “the entire project” which will unearth certain truths of the incumbent government. “If I remain free, I will bring it to light,” he added.
“We never kicked up a fuss over it before but we will address this now and are preparing a plan of action,” he said, referring to the government’s accusations against various members of the party, pertaining to corruption and misuse of power, besides a litany of other charges.
The PML-N leader made no other mention of the nature of the revelations he plans to “bring forth”.
“Two years have passed and Pakistan’s people are disappointed and have had it with this selected government,” Shehbaz said, adding: “The writing is on the wall over what good they have actually done us.”
“We were promised billions of dollars worth of development and rivers of milk and honey,” the PML-N leader said. He said is compelled today “to must speak on behalf of this country’s poor”.
He said it was a matter of great regret that the price of sugar which was at Rs50 in Nawaz’s tenure is at Rs100 now.
“Wheat and wheat flour was a commodity that was easily found everywhere and in abundance and now it is nowhere to be found,” he said.
“Our pockets are empty […] we cannot get our hands on diesel,” Shehbaz went on to say.
Referring to the Baldia factory fire tragedy, he said that if the current trends continue, a similar fate awaited Pakistan’s economy.
The opposition leader said that the government representatives “are only busy in hiding their scandals […] their foreign funding account is an open and shut case”.
“If the ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan) brings the facts forth, the prime minister will not be prime minister for even one second,” he claimed.
Shehbaz said that despite the passage of “years”, a verdict in the matter had not been announced.
“I want to say that they have levelled baseless accusations on PML-N and sought to get their revenge but they have still not had their fill. The NAB-Niazi nexus have broken all records of filing cases against us,” said the PML-N leader.
He said “the whole nation knows the truth” behind the narcotics probe against PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah.
“On the other hand, no one is ready to talk about Aleema baji’s assets abroad. She comes with protocol to the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) office”.
Shehbaz said that no one is without fault and he admits that, but stressed that the PML-N had “worked day and night” for Pakistan and “every kid even is witness to this”.
He asked why there was no probe into the Malam Jabba case and what happened to the “helicopter” inquiry.
The PML-N leader alleged that the “real culprits” behind the sugar scandal are Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar.
Shehbaz said that during Nawaz Sharif’s last five-year tenure, net savings of Rs1 trillion were made.
The PML-N leader, referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that it was flabbergasting how one “who lies and enables his sibling to lie and use the amnesty scheme, then levels accusations on others”.
“He had to blame me and he did, but he has also tainted the name of Pakistan in front of the Chinese and British governments,” said Shehbaz, adding that both governments had rejected the accusations levelled against him.
Speaking of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, he said that four buses have burned so far after catching fire.
“For this to happen in a new project on which Rs100bn were spent [is highly regrettable],” said the PML-N leader.
He then provided an account of his party’s own efforts in Punjab with three metro projects between Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan and Lahore, all of which costed Rs100bn in total. “And the Peshawar one alone cost that much,” he said, in criticism of the PTI government’s efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“There are reports that acts of vandalism are becoming common […] and billions in corruption are lost, besides the delay that occurred.”
“They say I took a loan from China for the Orange Line (rapid transit system). Well I made this for the people of Pakistan, not for myself,” he saud,
“You took a loan from Asian Development Bank and then there was a delay and then look at where it is now,” he said, addressing the premier.
He said not a penny’s worth of corruption was found in the Orange Line project.
Shehbaz said that the Orange Line project saw savings of Rs81bn. “In today’s time, it would amount to savings Rs100bn but I did not want to play that game.”
He also spoke of the Safe City Project brought to Punjab by former law minister Rana Sanaullah.
The PML-N leader said that Rs4bn were saved when 8,000 cameras worth Rs12bn were installed when six years prior the rate for 2,000 cameras was that much.
“If I didn’t feel for the people why would I bother [with all this saving?”