Shehbaz Sharif stresses on holding timely elections

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday stressed that the general elections, which are slated to be held on February 8 next year, should be conducted on time.

“[Holding the elections on time] is the requirement of law and democracy,” said the former prime minister while speaking to journalists after he appeared before an accountability court in Lahore in the Ramzan Sugar Mills reference.

The court had summoned Shehbaz a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) alleging that the former chief minister of Punjab misused his authority by using public funds for the construction of a bridge to facilitate the Ramzan mills, owned by his sons.

Shehbaz said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif will announce the party manifesto in the election campaign, adding that they are starting the campaign with full preparation.

He also addressed the issues raised by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of not being provided equal opportunities to contest the upcoming polls, Shehbaz said: “I went to court today and this is called the level-playing field and Nawaz Sharif will also produce himself in an Islamabad court today.”

The former premier said that the Sharif family has suffered hardships but Nawaz Sharif still bowed before the law. “Nawaz Sharif ended his exile and came back to Pakistan. We always respected the judiciary,” he added.

Shehbaz, speaking about the May 9 incidents which were followed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case, said that the facilitation of the perpetrators of the May 9 events would be anti-national.

“A conspiracy to overthrow the army was hatched on May 9 and any democratic government will not tolerate treason,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz, during the hearing said that he was summoned in the clean water case but was arrested in Ashiana reference.

“I will not discuss the merits of the case, my lawyer will do it,” he told the court, adding that the court gave me justice in the Ashiana case.

“After that, NAB arrested me in the sewer case. I was told that I had issued a directive for the construction of a drain which was built by an MPA,” he said.

The PML-N president told the court that they have installed thousands of clean water projects during his tenure.

Shehbaz said that he transferred their inherited sugar mill to his son and the government did not give subsidies to sugar mills in his tenure.

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