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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: The News International

Pakistan Reader# 685, 23 October 2023

Nawaz Sharif’s return and agenda for Pakistan’s revival



Sharif’s massive gathering at Minar-i-Pakistan marked the formal beginning of the election campaign

Dhriti Mukherjee

On 21 October, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan after a four-year absence marked a significant moment in the country’s political landscape. During his address to a massive gathering at Minari-Pakistan, Sharif presented a comprehensive nine-point agenda aimed at addressing ongoing crises, inflation, poverty, and unemployment. Sharif’s return has ignited anticipation and debate, as he embarks on his mission to revive Pakistan’s economic and political landscape.
 
Sharif’s resurgence in Pakistani politics
Sharif’s massive gathering at Minar-i-Pakistan marked the formal beginning of the election campaign for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), as he presented his economic and political agenda before a crowd of thousands. He addressed a massive public rally in Lahore and held meetings with his party leaders, as well as representatives of other political parties. These meetings included prominent figures such as former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz, former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and others.
 
During the meetings, the political and economic situation of the country was discussed in detail. Additionally, the upcoming court proceedings on 24 October, related to legal and judicial issues concerning Nawaz Sharif’s case, were a central topic of conversation. Asam Tarar briefed the meeting about legal and judicial issues concerning Nawaz Sharif’s case and the upcoming court proceedings on 24 October.
 
Exploring the nine-point agenda
Sharif’s nine-point agenda, presented upon his return to Pakistan, reflects his vision for addressing the country’s economic and political challenges. While the speech contained key priorities, it lacked specific details about implementation strategies. Sharif’s agenda underscores the urgent need for fiscal responsibility, economic stability, and comprehensive reforms to revitalise Pakistan’s economy and legal system.
 
In his speech, Sharif emphasised the need to reduce government and administrative expenditures. He highlighted “the need for better fiscal management.” Sharif brought forth the point of increasing income and revenues while implementing fundamental reforms in the taxation system. The need for “strengthening exports” to achieve “sustainable economic growth” was also underlined. Sharif went on to identify the IT sector as “an essential driver of economic growth globally,” stating that Pakistan “should harness its potential.”
 
The agenda also included the importance of “addressing energy price concerns” and the “effective management” of the country’s state-owned enterprises, as current inefficient management is leading to a substantial public burden. Along these lines, he noted that to address the plight of the public, “employment generation” remains critical. Finally, when speaking of reforms, Sharif understated that the “modernisation of agriculture” and bringing about reforms for a “swift and inexpensive” justice system are factors of rising importance in Pakistan’s journey of growth and development.
 
Reconciliation and Outreach
A key development was the decision for Sharif to act as the focal person for the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a coalition of opposition parties. The PDM parties would be contacted again, and Sharif would personally reach out to various leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Attaullah Mengal, and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Sharif stated that he would thank the PDM leadership for its support of Shehbaz Sharif’s government.
 
References
Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Nawaz resumes political activities at Jati Umra residence,” The News International, 23 October 2023;
Gallup poll: Nawaz’s return improves PMLN’s political fortunes: snap poll,” The News International, 23 October 2023;
Rizwan Shehzad, “A look at Nawaz’s nine-point agenda,” The Express Tribune, 22 October 2023;
Hamza Rao, “Nawaz vows to let bygones be bygones,” The Express Tribune, 22 October 2023

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