Kasur: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared on Sunday that if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is elected to power, Nawaz Sharif will become the country's Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Express Tribune reported.

He was speaking at a public meeting after laying the foundation stone for the Taray Garh interchange on the Lahore-Bahawalnagar motorway and the Rai Mansab Ali Khan interchange on the Abdul Hakim motorway on the Bucheki-Nankana road.

“Nawaz Sharif will serve the people of Pakistan as Prime Minister for another term if voted to power. He considers the whole of Pakistan as his family and in the past, selflessly served the people,” he said.

He recalled that in the past, Pakistan suffered from load-shedding of 20 hours every day, and then Nawaz Sharif came in 2013 and "removed the darkness" from power shortages by setting up power projects, reviving industry and agriculture, and bringing the USD 30 billion CPEC project to Pakistan with the collaboration of China, the Express Tribune reported.

He noted that Nawaz Sharif initiated the project of the Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams and made Pakistan a nuclear state by conducting six nuclear tests in response to five explosions by India.

He reminded that Nawaz Sharif rejected the offer of USD 5 billion by then-US President Bill Clinton and went on with the nuclear explosions while ignoring pressure. Nawaz Sharif also started the Zarb-e-Azab operation led by Pakistan Army to eradicate terrorism, he claimed.

In the era of Nawaz Sharif, the Premier said, Pakistan had good relations with friendly and brotherly countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, and Qatar, among others.

“Then Imran Niazi was imposed on the country after rigged elections in 2018 and his regime caused severe damage to relations with these countries, including Islamic countries, and he resorted to baseless allegations of corruption against companies of China,” he added.

Ties with China were broken by the former government despite the fact that the neighbouring country massively invested in infrastructure, power and road projects, he pointed out.

The Prime Minister said former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and other co-conspirators ousted Nawaz on the basis of a residence permit, even when his name was not among the 400 persons named in the Panama papers, the Express Tribune reported.

“Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz appeared before the court 100 times in their cases and did not evade arrests as was later done by Imran Niazi, who presented a fake receipt for an expensive watch imprinted with a model of the Khana-e-Kaaba and came in court with a bucket on his head,” he added.

He said those who filed false and concocted cases against Opposition leaders had now met divine justice.

He added that during in the tenure of former PM Imran Khan, several cases of corruption surfaced including wheat and sugar scams in which money was minted by unnecessary export and import of these commodities, and then these acts of fraud were never probed and citizens bore the burden of loot and plunder, the Express Tribune reported.

He said his government faced unprecedented challenges of inflation and devastating floods.

He added that the reasons for current inflation were the war in Ukraine and rising international commodity and fuel prices, adding due to the mismanagement of the past government, his government had to sign an agreement with IMF despite its tough conditions.

The PM informed that the National Assembly would be dissolved on August 9 and a caretaker government would be formed.

However, Pakistan's Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said holding the general elections based on the 2023 digital census was not feasible before January or February of 2024, The News International reported.

Speaking to Geo News on Saturday, Tarar said a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif "unanimously" approved new census results, the Express Tribune reported.

Referring the Article 51 of the Constitution, the law minister said the general elections for the national and provincial assemblies will be conducted as per the limits of the constituencies published by the Commission, The News International reported.

The outer limit of 120 days can be reduced by effective work, the law minister said, adding that 54 more days are required for holding the general elections.

The entire process should not go beyond 150 to 165 days, he added.

Under the law, if a new census is notified, the ECP is bound to hold elections on the basis of new data.

It is important to note that the ruling coalition agreed to dissolve the National Assembly prematurely on August 9 — three days before its term ends — giving the electoral body 90 days to conduct polls.

The two main coalition partners of PM Shehbaz Sharif — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and PPP — hold opposite views on the enumeration.

The PPP has on multiple occasions said that polls should be held on the basis of the 2017 census, reiterating that any delay in polls will not be accepted.