PESHAWAR - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday promised to bring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at par with Punjab if voted to power by the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the upcoming general elections.

Speaking at a party workers’ convention here, he also promised a metro train for Peshawar if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which he now heads, won the election.

The PML-N president said that his elder brother Nawaz Sharif was “still his president” and he would remain so in future as well.

Nawaz was dethroned by the Supreme Court as party head, months after his disqualification as the prime minister.

He said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan who used to denigrate Lahore metro bus had himself introduced such project in Peshawar after four years of their taking over KP government.

He claimed that Peshawar metro bus project would cost Rs71 billion, whereas, the Lahore bus project had been completed at a cost of only Rs30 billion.

Shehbaz claimed that there was not even a single government hospital in Peshawar which could meet the minimum standards of the modern world.

He said that politics of PTI revolved around sit-ins, conspiracies, civil disobedience and obliterating economy. “Instead of hindering our development projects and wasting people’s time, the PTI should have done something for the people,” he added.

The PML-N, on the other hand, launched and completed unprecedented development programs, including power projects.

“We also laid the foundation of the motorway from Islamabad to Peshawar. Had there been no motorway, vehicles would have been stuck in long queues on GT Road,” he held.

“Today I have come here as the PML-N President. After being elected as the party president, it is my first visit outside the Punjab and I feel proud that I have first come to Peshawar.”

About Imran, Shehbaz Sharif said that a leader that remained busy speaking lies and doing politics of deceit cannot serve Pakistan. He added that such a leader cannot bravely face a formidable foe like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On his first visit to Peshawar since his becoming PML-N head, Shehbaz was accompanied by PML-N KP President Amir Muqam, NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Aviation Mehtab Ahmad and other leaders.

PML-N KP President Amir Muqam thanked Shehbaz Sharif for visiting Peshawar first of all after assuming party presidency.

He said that the Punjab chief minister always came to help of KP people in every difficult situation.

He recalled that when dengue attacked the province, KP CM Pervaiz Khattak slept over it and did nothing. “I telephoned Shehbaz Sharif from Swat Hospital and pleaded for help and he immediately sent teams and medicines from Punjab.”

Siraj’s defection

Earlier, PTI MNA Muhammad Siraj Khan jumped off the PTI ship after meeting with Shehbaz Sharif in Peshawar. Siraj made the announcement of joining the PML-N during that meeting.

Siraj, who remained part of the provincial ruling party for well over four years, left it saying that he “cannot side with those who sing and dance”.

He was elected to National Assembly from NA-6 (Nowshera-II) constituency in the last general elections on PTI ticket.

Like all turncoats, the PTI deserter was all praise for the party he switched to and its leaders. He said that PML-N was the only party which could steer Pakistan out of the crisis and lead it to prosperity.

He said that Shehbaz will be the Prime Minister of Pakistan as people were with him and PML-N will form the next government in KP.

Siraj Khan also expressed his full confidence in the leadership of Shehbaz Sharif, who in turn welcomed him saying that his joining the PML-N will further strengthen it.

The Punjab CM said that those who have failed to deliver for five years will have to be answerable to the people in the elections.

He said that PTI did nothing except wasting time and creating hurdles to development projects. The PML-N, on the other hand, is a popular party having strong roots in the masses, he added.

Separately, Shehbaz Sharif also called on KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra to discuss matters of mutual interest.