ISLAMABAD/SARGODHA - Former premier Nawaz Sharif asserted on Wednesday his party had the vision and agenda to deal with the plethora of issues facing the country, imploring to the masses to vote the PML-N to power to put Pakistan on the path of progress and development.

“We have the vision, agenda and professional backup to bring the country out of deepening quagmire of economic instability, poor law and order, ballooning inflation, and widening energy shortfall,” stated the PML-N chief, recalling it was his party government that had made the country a nuclear power.

Anti-PPP and PTI slogans by charged workers of PML-N mainly set the trend for Nawaz’s address to traders of the twin cities. In his short appearance in Islamabad in the run-up to electoral tests ahead Nawaz sounded quite convincing and eloquent as before.

The former premier made it clear that his party did not have any lust for votes to return to power corridors but wanted to put the country on the track from which it had derailed after the takeover of his government. He however promised to put all-out efforts in to deal with the scourge of terrorism and ongoing power shortfall which, according to him, had adversely impacted the country’s industrial sector.

He noted that business community was the backbone of “our economy”, and deplored that the ballooning energy crisis was not taken care of all these five years. He blamed the outgoing PPP-led coalition government for not taking effective steps to offset electricity cuts, which, he said, broke out after his government. “[Former military ruler] Pervez Musharraf gifted electricity loadshedding to this country, and the PPP-led government followed the suit by not letting anything happen to contain it,” he told outages-hit traders in front of him.

The subjects of economy and law and order were dealt with poorly through the policies framed by the outgoing government, a vexed Nawaz added as he showed determination to set things in order after winning polls with the help of the masses.

The former premier also held out assurances to the business community of favorable conditions and speedy growth for commercial activities across the country, saying his party would introduce vibrant economic policies in consultation with traders, industrialists and other stakeholders.

In an indirect criticism of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, Nawaz said, "I did play cricket...but it was not everything I did my whole life...I made the country an atomic power (too)."

Later in the evening Nawaz addressed a massive public gathering at Sports Stadium in Sargodha, and said he had been penalised unjustly for 14 months’ prison and seven years’ exile by Pervez Musharraf just for making the country a nuclear power, constructing motorway, and putting the country on way of progress and prosperity.

He said, “Musharraf brought loadshedding, lawlessness and extremism upon this country, while his successor Asif Ali Zardari, PPP co-chairman, wasted five precious years. “Had he spent only two hours for this country, the nation might have been in different circumstances,” he went on to say.

He came down hard on the outgoing government for devastating the Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills and other state institutions through ill-managed policies. He also bemoaned depreciation of the Pakistani rupee, and said his party would adopt vivacious economic plans to bring lift the currency up. He said he would bring a revolution of development with the assistance of the youth.

Late on Tuesday evening, Nawaz said the PML-N would proceed against Musharraf according to Article 6 after coming to power. Talking to a private television, he laid stress on timely elections. He was of the view that continuity of democratic system was solution to all problems facing the country. He exhorted the masses to participate in upcoming elections and give full support to PML-N.