Real Pakistani youth stands with PML-N’: Nawaz Sharif

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Real Pakistani youth stands with PML-N': Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: In a fresh jibe at the embattled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif has said that the country’s “real youth” stands behind his party, besides the “mummy-daddy ones”.

PTI’s political opponents frequently label the party as attracting “privileged youth” or “wannabes” who lack traditional values or commitment. They use terms like “mummy-daddy” to imply the party’s supporters lack authenticity.

“Some people say the youth supports someone else. But no, youth, not the mummy-daddy ones, are with Muslim League Noon. The real Pakistani youth. That’s why Nawaz Sharif loves you,” the ex-prime minister told a rally in Faisalabad on Friday.

Nawaz is eyeing a fourth stint as the prime minister as he has secured relief from court in multiple cases and following a landmark Supreme Court judgment, he is also no longer disqualified from holding office.

His party faces competition from its former ally, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), as the PTI is seemingly out of the election race — its founder Imran Khan jailed, top leadership is either in hiding or behind bars, and its symbol stripped of.

The candidates of the PTI, which ruled the country from 2018 to 2022 before its ouster, will be contesting the February 8 elections on different electoral symbols, lessening their chances of victory as symbols help identify the party.

Promises

In the same speech, Nawaz promised to cut down inflation and slash electricity tariffs, as Pakistan witnesses one of the highest inflation in years, with no respite in sight.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation marked an increase of 1.8%, jumping to 28.34%, with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) expecting inflation to remain range-bound.

“God willing, we will bring back the time when a loaf was sold at Rs4, while vegetables, petrol, etc were cheaper than they are today,” Nawaz said, who has never completed his five-year term and was ousted by either a military coup or court order prematurely.

The PML-N supremo said if he was not ousted in 2017, then fewer people would not be unemployed. “I don’t make false promises, I’m not the person who promised 5 million homes and didn’t deliver,” he said, in a jibe at PTI founder Khan.

For her part, PML-N Senior Vice-President Maryam Nawaz also berated the PTI founder and said: “Muslim League Noon does not call anyone a thief, we believe in serving the people.”

“Nobody can beat PML-N in service of people,” said Maryam, who will be contesting polls for the first time, as her conviction was also overturned last year.