KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif promised development and prosperity for Karachi, after arriving in the metropolis to launch the party’s election campaign.
Addressing an event at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Shehbaz vowed to resolve the city’s critical issues if PML-N was voted into power again.
“[We] performed to the [best of our capabilties] in the past five years,” he said, adding that it is only the past performances which serve as grounds to vote for a political party.
Singling out the most critical issues plaguing the city, namely water shortage, poor cleanliness and lack of public transport infrastructure, the former chief minister of Punjab said his party would “resolve these issues on a priority basis, just like it had solved the load-shedding crisis by as much as 90%.”
Highlighting the prevalent water crisis in the port city, Shehbaz said it was time for action, not regrets. “In two, three years water crisis shouldn’t exist in Karachi,” he said, adding that the PML-N government would work with the provincial and city governments to ensure potable water is available to every household within the next two years.
The party president said that provincial budget was alone not enough to develop Karachi; the federal government should also allocate budget towards the city’s development.
Drawing attention to Karachi’s solid waste disposal problem, Shehbaz resolved to rid the city of its garbage dumps within six months if the city’s residents placed their trust in PML-N and voted for the party.
On the lack of public transport infrastructure in the city, the PML-N president said a developed, modern public transport network was the right of the residents.
“Public transport is a critical component of a growing economy worldwide,” he said. “Karachi won’t be able to develop to its full potential if its basic rights are not granted.”
“Dharnas [sit-ins] only wasted people’s times,” he added, in a clear jibe at the opposing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Shehbaz will also address a public gathering in NA-249 constituency — from where he intends to contest the July 25 General Election—, as well as in Lyari and Malir.
Delegations of minorities and the young president organisation are also expected to call on Shehbaz during his visit.
Earlier today, the PML-N president was extended a warm welcome by PML-N members after he landed in Karachi.
The former minister, in a video message late Sunday, said that he would be holding “rallies and meetings” in Karachi.
He added that his party, which ruled Pakistan for the past five years and handed over the leadership to the caretaker government last month, has made good on the promises it made back in 2013.
There is “almost no load-shedding in the country” in the present day, the PML-N president said, adding that peace had returned to Karachi, with the Rangers having worked hard day and night to make it possible.
He stressed that he and his party would make every effort to fulfill any promises that they make in the upcoming general elections.
Have certain responsibilities towards Begum Kulsoom: Nawaz
Earlier on Sunday, Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister and now-PML-N supremo, said that he would be unable to participate in the electoral campaign for the forthcoming general elections due to the ill health of his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
Speaking to reporters in London, he said his wife was suffering from an infection which had resulted in a fever.
“Kulsoom Nawaz is my wife. I have certain responsibilities towards her,” he commented.
Begum Kulsoom has been undergoing treatment in London for throat cancer for the past few months.
She was shifted to the ICU on June 14 after suffering from a cardiac arrest. She has since been on life support.
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