Nawaz Sharif wants to improve ties with India, Afghanistan

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif Saturday reiterated the need to improve relations with neighbours including India and Afghanistan.

Addressing his party's parliamentary board meeting in Lahore, the politician said: "During my time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Pakistan."

Stressing the need to fix relations with neighbouring nations, he said that Pakistan needs to improve its ties with Iran and China as well.

The PML-N supremo also vowed to hold those accountable who ruined the country. 

"The country was thriving from 2013 to 2017 and the economy was better, however, good people were thrown out and Pakistan was handed to clumsy people."

This was the second instance since his return to Pakistan in October after a self-imposed four-year exile that Nawaz openly voiced in favour of holding the perpetrators of his ouster accountable.

A day earlier, while speaking to the PML-N ticket aspirants, he had blamed former generals and judges for lodging false cases against him.

Nawaz started the address today by saying that even though he was out of sight, but was still very close to the party members by heart, adding that he always remembered his friends and companions.

"During our time, the economy was better and development was at its peak. We still pray that the country is steered out of difficulties," said the PML-N supremo.

He said that the country was progressing in all aspects during his tenure, however, the nation has seen a difficult time in the last four years. "There were some elements who halted the country from thriving," he added.

The three-time prime minister said that the nation needs to realise that economic destruction started in 2019 and by 2022, everything in the country had collapsed. "If Shehbaz Sharif hadn't taken over, the country would have defaulted."

Recalling his 2013 election campaign, he said that he was asked [by the party leaders] to assure the nation that loadshedding would end in six months, however, he refused to lie.

"I said, I wouldn't say anything that might damage my reputation. I had said in the election campaign that loadshedding will end within five years as I don't want to cheat the nation," he said.

Nawaz said that PML-N always performed well but was always ousted from power. "I want to know why my governments were overthrown in 1993 and 1999. Was it because we opposed the Kargil War," he questioned.

"When it comes to our country, we do not back down. And today, no one has the courage to attack Pakistan [because of nuclear arsenal]," said Nawaz. "We have performed on economic, defence, and foreign fronts."

Nawaz further said that his party is giving tickets for the upcoming general elections — set to take place on February 8 next year — to work for the development of the country.

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