In a major policy statement on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) narrative, former finance minister Ishaq Dar said that party supremo Nawaz Sharif’s focus is not on revenge, but on nation-building upon his return to the country on October 21. 

Nawaz has left his matter to Allah to punish his tormentors and those who threw him out of power using illegal, vindictive and unethical means, said Dar while speaking to journalists outside the former premier’s temporary party headquarters in London. 

He added that the three-time prime minister does not believe in revenge and firmly believes that Pakistan needs to move forward with a focus on economy and development.

Dar was asked what will be Nawaz’s narrative with a specific focus on former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ex-director general Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed, Panama judges, including former chief justices of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khosa, Azmat Saeed Sheikh, Ijazul Ahsan — the main characters Nawaz has blamed for causing the fall of his government in 2017 through a coordinated conspiracy that eventually brought Imran Khan into power in a hybrid system.

Dar reminded that the three-time former prime minister had famously said in 2017, when he was disqualified over Iqama, that he has left his matter to Allah with the prayers that those who meted injustice to him should face punishment in this life and the life after.

“There are two choices: do revenge and personal scores settlement or fix the country and the economy. Nawaz Sharif has left his matter to Allah the Almighty. I have never seen in history that nature has exposed culprits in such a short time. Look how Judge Arshed Malik made his video confession of unfairly convicting Nawaz Sharif, and how Justice Shaukat Siddiqui exposed injustice to Nawaz Sharif and informed the nation. This has happened in the fastest manner because Nawaz Sharif had left his matter with Allah and Allah is the best of judges,” said Dar. 

The former finmin said that Nawaz’s focus, upon his return to Pakistan, will be on nation-building, to help the nation come out of the crisis, to bring economic progress and reforms, to bring prosperity to the nation and to reduce the difficulties of the masses, to put Pakistan on the path of progress.

He said that it’s the leader who decides the narrative and Nawaz said in 2017 that he had left his matter with Allah the Almighty and as a result, the characters who did injustice to him have been exposed one after another in the shortest time.

Dar said: “Allah has exposed them and Allah will hold them accountable too. Some are hiding, some are on the run and some are unable to show their faces. This is happening thanks to Allah’s justice and today the whole world knows that these were fraudulent and false cases against Nawaz Sharif; that he was victimised and the nation of Pakistan paid a price for this. The biggest victim in all this is Pakistan, the progress of Pakistan has been pushed back many decades as Pakistan has become the 44th economy in the world today and under Nawaz Sharif, it was the 24th economy in the world. This is the sum total of the destruction of Pakistan.”

The PML-N leader also said that “economy” will be Nawaz’s narrative for the nation, with a promise to take Pakistan to the path of development again.

The former finance minister said that the recent harsh steps taken against the dollar hoarders and black market traders were most welcome and were helping the economy.

“The formation of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) is a step in the right direction. All stakeholders are part of it. The vehicle needed for it is already formed in the shape of the Pakistan sovereign wealth fund. Lots of sub-funds will be formed under it. These are revolutionary steps. If we win elections, I have no doubt that Pakistan will take off again,” he added. 

Speaking to journalists after meeting Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz at Thornhope House, Dar said that the narrative of PML-N will be defined by the fact that Pakistan progressed under Nawaz from 2013 till 2017 and then his govt was dislodged and the journey of Pakistan’s economic progress was halted.

“The programme is final for October 21 and Mian Nawaz Sharif is returning to Pakistan,” Dar told the media.

Dar said that Nawaz was the builder of Pakistan and it is to his credit that he ended 20-hour loadshedding, facilitated billions in investment into China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), produced electricity of 12,000 megawatts, boosted employment, agriculture and exports took Pakistan’s GDP to higher than 6.5%. 

He further said that Nawaz was returning to Pakistan with the objective of taking Pakistan again on the path of prosperity, for and on behalf of the people of Pakistan.

The ex-finance minister — who will be returning to Pakistan on Saturday — said he will appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the re-opened assets beyond means case.

He said: “This is a false case, based on falsehood and lies. I have not missed my tax returns for a second in my life but lies as big as mountains were told about me to victimise me by the Saqib Nisar-led system in order to bring in Imran Khan projects which have failed badly. I will prove before the courts that I am an innocent man who has been victimised on political grounds.”

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