DERA GHAZI KHAN - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday said the people should stand up against the way the Senate polls were held, urging them to vote for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the next general elections to rid the country of corrupt practices.

Addressing a gathering here after performing the groundbreaking of the Northern Bypass and Rakhi Gajj Bewata Section, he reiterated his strong reservations about the recent Senate elections and its chairman.

The prime minister said he would get an endorsement of his views from the people and asked them whether those who had become members of the Senate on the basis of their wealth were acceptable. The people shouted “no”.

He again questioned whether this criterion should be adopted for the Senate chairman. The people again said “no”.

He claimed PML-N did not pay even a single penny to any member in the Senate election. He averred he would go an extra mile to put an end to this corrupt practice.

He asked the newly elected senators and their political parties to say on oath that they were neither paid nor did they pay someone else to purchase votes.

He said the people of Pakistan needed to decide whether they were willing to see the sale and purchase of conscience of their elected representatives for a single Senate seat or to reject that lot in the next general elections. He asked the Senate chairman to have the courage to admit money was paid to get the coveted seat.

He said it was unfortunate that those who serve the people were being removed through litigation and legal cases, adding this way needed to end as it was not sustainable and eventually damaging the country.

He claimed his party had full respect for the courts. He, however, stated it was the right of the people of the country to take political decisions, adding their decisions always proved to be correct. He stated there could be criticism on the legal decisions, but those taken by the people could not be criticised as they eventually reflected their will.

He asserted the nation could only progress if democracy and political systems were strong in the country. He said the people of Pakistan chose Asif Ali Zardari in 2008 and everyone knows what he did to this country. In 2013, the people sent him home and opted for Nawaz Sharif.

The economic progress, network of roads and motorways, projects for power generation and end to gas loadshedding were enough to show who was sincere with the country, he stated. He claimed Nawaz Sharif had brought the positive changes; now it was up to the people to vote for his party.

He asked the people to shun petty differences, stand united and elect the party that was seriously serving them and working for the progress of the country.

He claimed PML-N had always pursued a politics of decency. “Some people throw stones on us, but we return flowers. We always used polite language,” he further claimed.

He was sure the conscientious people of Pakistan would definitely react to the way Nawaz Sharif was removed and would cast their votes in his favour in the forthcoming general elections. He averred he had full belief that PML-N would again win with an overwhelming majority.

Mentioning the development phase launched across the country by PML-N, he said Rs 18 billion would be spent on the construction of the two roads to bring about a change in the lives of the people of this region.

He said these roads were only a part of overall development works that include hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, roads, rail and other infrastructure.

He disclosed over 1,700km-long network of roads was under construction across the country and would usher in an era of prosperity.

He said the project for dualisation of N-55 Indus Highway had already commenced which would ultimately ease their travelling woes. He told the people their demand for a railway underpass would be met when PML-N came to power after the next elections.

He said Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had practically proven that he was sincere in the progress of people. He said even the opponents of PML-N also believed such development work could only be done by the party headed by Nawaz Sharif. He added despite a plethora of challenges, sit-ins and court cases, the party continued to selflessly serve the masses.

He recalled in 1988 Farooq Ahmed Leghari and PML-N were on divergent lines, but the party respected the late Leghari as he had pursued the policy of principles. He said the name of the airport of Dera Ghazi Khan needed to be named after former president Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari.

He said numerous projects were being launched across the country. Pakistan would face no shortage of natural gas for next 20 years, he claimed, adding during the past five years the number of new connections had risen by 50 percent. He said the policy of merit and ‘first come, first served’ was strictly being adhered to in the provision of natural gas connections.

The prime minister averred Pakistan was undertaking a long journey towards progress and prosperity under the dynamic leadership of Nawaz Sharif. He urged the people to vote for PML-N for the sanctity of vote.

He was appreciative of the series of projects undertaken by the NHA and thanked the Japanese government for its support. The event was attended by Awais Khan Leghari, Marvi Memon, Jamal Khan Leghari, Arshad Khan Leghari, Jaffar Khan Leghari and parliamentarians.