Lahore, Jul 13: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an emotional appeal to the people of Pakistan  minutes before taking off for Lahore from Abu Dhabi on Friday. In a video message, he said, “I am doing this for Pakistan”, while asking the people to stand up against the ongoing injustice and atrocities by the authorities in the country. He also urged the media to show the truth and not be silenced due to fear and pressure.

(LIVE – Nawaz Sharif, Daughter Maryam Nawaz on Their Way Back to Pakistan)

“I am coming back, just waiting for the flight here,” Sharif said through a telephonic press conference. “Pakistan has been turned in to a war field. People are barred from moving from one place to the other and scores of people have been arrested from various places. They have been asked not to go towards the airport. This is the situation of Pakistan and that too just 10 days before the General Election. Is this how the ruling government going to conduct a fair election? What credibility of election has been left? And if no credibility has been left then who will accept the results?” he added.

Dismissing speculations about him going to the Royal Palace in Abu Dhabi to possibly take refuge, he said, “”I do not know who is floating such news. When real news will not be shown then such fake news will automatically do rounds.”

Adding further, Sharif said, “Yesterday, I gave an interview to a TV channel and that was not run. I can understand media is being throttled. Media should fight back. If media starts taking things lying down then its credibility will be impacted. Media should take a stand.If you have to save Pakistan then you have to come out. Do not fear from the fact that if you show truth, you will be arrested. How many people they can arrest? 1,2,3? Here you have dozens. Let them do it for a few days. But you media also take a stand. That is how Pakistan will change from what it was in the last 70 years.”

Replying to a question about how will he stay in contact with people if he goes to jail, the former PM said, “I am doing my work. I am taking the struggle to its last level. Vote ko ijjat do, isi ke liye mai Pakistan pahuch raha hu. (‘Give respect to vote/democracy’ this is why I am reaching Pakistan). I am coming for the future generations of Pakistan. We are all indebted. Everyone has to fight together. We have to the change things that have been happening in Pakistan for the last 70 years. Pakistan has been destroyed because of this only.”

Referring to defections, the Pakistani leader said, “We are not going back. I have left my wife in an unconscious state in London and come back. I know I have been given 10 years in jail, Maryam has been given 8 years of prison. Even then I am coming for some purpose. Today, media should take a stand. People and community are coming out and marching ahead, otherwise, why would there be restriction? Why would they break our candidates and get them switch their loyalties. Why would there be shift from Tiger (PMNL- election symbol) to Jeep (Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan)?”

On a question of whether National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was in Abu Dhabi , the former PM said no threats can diminish his determination to bring change in Pakistan. “Whether NAB is present here or those who have send NAB are present there, whoever is present either here or in Pakistan, Alhamdulillah, they cannot shake my determination. Mashallah, this determination, will now achieve its desired results. There is a strong sentiment among people which has never been seen before an election in Pakistan. Whether they arrest me from here or from Lahore, I am prepared for all eventualities,” Sharif said.

Taking a dig at the current caretaker Punjab Chief Minister, Hasan Askari Rizvi, Sharif said, “Those who are in charge will have to answer. This caretaker government is only for name sake, they are not taking all this action on their own. Someone is forcing them to do so. The care taker chief minister of Punjab should either resign or step down because the people of Punjab do not have any faith in him anymore.”