ISLAMABAD- Finally Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke on the floor of the National Assembly unveiling the revolutionary uplift programmes his government is almost near to embark on but hinted that the revolutionaries who have besieged the Parliament could be the hindrance to the prosperous future of the country.
This was the first address of the beleaguered Premier to the National Assembly since he had taken the lower house in confidence on June 16 ahead of announcing the launch of ground military offensive in North Waziristan against terrorists in the volatile agency.
Over two months back when the prime minister had read out a written statement, almost in a monotonous way to inform the lower house about the big decision to take militants head on, Wednesday's speech of the Premier was almost replica of his earlier words.
Nawaz Sharif had announced launch of military operation in National Assembly at a time when the country's airports were stormed by terrorists while his second speech at the lower house comes at a time when the Parliament House has been virtually besieged by supporters of Imran Khan and followers of firebrand cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri.
The usual glow on his cheeks had vanished as Premier Sharif told the house that the demands put forth by Imran had been considered except resignation of prime minister.
"I wait for a proper time to disclose that how and why the political agitation has started. I think we must discuss the motives behind the anti-democracy development," he told the house referring to the prolonged sit-ins staged by PTI and PAT on Constitution Avenue.
Both treasury and opposition benches in National Assembly continued to extend support to Premier Nawaz rejecting the 'unconstitutional' demands of Imran who seeks resignation of the leader of the house.
The prime minister said that Rs55 billion have been set aside for land acquisition ahead of kicking of work on Karachi-Lahore motorway besides taking revolutionary measures in upgrading Pakistan Railways, generation of 10,400 megawatts electricity and other mega projects including Gwadar and Dasu Dam.
"But it is impossible to accomplish the entire projects in a day. I promise that the pace of development projects would be expedited further," the premier maintained as the spacious hall of National Assembly echoed with his support.
But soon after the prime minister wound up his speech and left for his chamber, parliamentary leaders of all political forces in the lower house chased him briefing him on future course of action to tackle the marchers.
Background interviews with those who had talked to Premier Sharif in his chamber confided that there was no way out of the crisis except giving sacrifice. "Let us start from younger Sharif to step down otherwise the agitation on Constitution Avenue can engulf the entire democratic system," a senior PPP leader said.
While the opposition forces put their weight behind the premier on floor of house, some heavyweight politicians have started whispering into the ears of elder Sharif that the crisis would not come to an end until one of the two Sharifs tenders resignation.
But even if Premier Sharif agrees on surrendering his brother Shahbaz to meet the demand of Dr Qadri, there is no guarantor who would ensure that Imran would give up his demand of PM's resignation.
Political pundits advised the PM that calming down Dr Qadri was more important than cooling down Imran as Imran's supporters unlike Qadri's followers cannot withstand the drizzle and scorching heat in Islamabad.
"We have to make sure that only one group is left alone on Constitution Avenue. The diehard followers of Qadri will not leave until their demands are met. So far PTI supporters are concerned, their protest will fizzle out and Khan would be left alone on the stage," a govt minister who wished not to be named shared with The Nation.