LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has held the military establishment responsible for the country’s economic woes, saying the countries around us have reached the Moon but Pakistan is not rising from the Earth.

“Pakistan has been stuck in difficulties. We go two steps forward and then 10 steps backwards — this has been happening for the last 75 years. Who is responsible for this?” the 73-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo questioned, indirectly referring to the powerful military.

He was addressing the parliamentary board meeting here on Wednesday.

Referring to India, Sharif said: “The countries around us have reached the Moon while we could not rise from the Earth — who is responsible for this?”

Early this week, Sharif had said neither India nor the United States are behind Pakistan’s miseries. “No one else but we are responsible for our downfall as we shot ourselves in the foot.”

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On Thursday, the three-time former premier spoke to his party’s minority members here and lauded their contributions for the development of the country.

“There were many comrades of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who played their part in making Pakistan,” he said, adding that a national leader does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion.

He said the minority community is Pakistan’s asset.

Sharif reiterated that those who drove Pakistan into an unprecedented crisis and made the lives of Pakistanis unbearably miserable should be made accountable.

He would often hold former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ex-ISI chief Gen Faiz Hamid and two former chief justices of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khosa responsible for Pakistan’s woes.

He said they ousted him from power in 2017 and imposed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supremo Imran Khan on the nation.

“Unimaginable damage has been done to his country and those responsible for it will not go unaccounted for,” he declared.

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Sharif, the only Pakistani politician who became the Prime Minister of the coup-prone country for a record three times, returned in October after a four-year self-imposed exile to lead his party in the general elections.

He has been receiving PM-designate protocol with the blessings of the military.

Besides, all his corruption cases in which he was convicted have been set aside after the Islamabad High Court has given him a clean chit.

The PTI alleges that under the ‘London Plan’ Nawaz Sharif will be made the Prime Minister following the February 8 polls with the blessing of the military establishment under Army Chief Gen Asim Munir and Imran Khan and his party will be crushed.

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