October 2023 marks a momentous occasion for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Our esteemed leader, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, is set to return to Pakistan on the 21st of October, ending a four-year period of exile. Central leaders, including Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Hamza Shehbaz, have been actively galvanising support for the PML-N through rallies, meetings with party officeholders, and visits to various towns and cities. Party members are enthusiastic and diligently preparing for a historic welcome. This event holds profound significance not only for the party but also for the country and its democratic future.
It was a tumultuous time when Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif departed for London due to his deteriorating health condition. During this period, he endured personal and political injustices, beginning with his forced resignation from the office of prime minister and his unjust imprisonment on fabricated corruption charges. In 2018, he suffered the loss of his beloved wife to cancer while incarcerated at Adiala Central Jail in Rawalpindi, alongside his daughter Maryam Nawaz. These events were orchestrated to prevent his participation in the electoral process.
With its leader behind bars, the PML-N faced an uneven playing field in the 2018 election, leading to the installation of the PTI at the centre and in Punjab through a coalition of defectors. However, injustice cannot persist indefinitely. Within a mere three and a half years, it became evident that the government was inefficient, and the nation was at risk if allowed to continue. This realisation prompted the parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement to demand the removal of Imran Khan from the office of prime minister.
Now that Mian Nawaz Sharif has decided to return to his homeland and stand among his people, it is imperative that the injustices committed against him and the country are rectified, and the judiciary revisits its decisions.
As we prepare to extend a warm welcome to our esteemed leader, events unfolding in the Middle East have caused us great anguish. The PML-N strongly condemns the ongoing violence against Palestinians. Our hearts ache for the innocent lives lost in Gaza. The current Israeli attack on Palestine is nothing less than a grievous act of aggression. Withholding essential supplies, such as food and water, from Gaza is a war crime. The international community must take immediate action to ensure the safety and security of the Palestinian people.
Some Western nations attempt to justify Israeli aggression by citing Hamas’ actions. However, it is vital to remember that Israel’s continued denial of the legitimate rights of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood, along with daily provocations, attacks by occupation forces and settlers, and raids on holy sites of Christianity and Islam, have created this dire situation.
In the 75 years since the Nakba, Israel has consistently acted as a bastion of Western imperialism, practising a genocidal form of apartheid that threatens the existence of the Palestinian people. Ending Israel’s illegal occupation, halting settlement expansion on Palestinian land, and ceasing the oppression faced by innocent Palestinians are essential for achieving peace, justice, and prosperity in the region. The restoration of pre-1967 boundaries is a fundamental prerequisite for peace, ensuring that Palestinians can live in their land in tranquility.
The bombing of civilians, children, and hospitals must cease immediately. The international community must take action to implement UN resolutions and put an end to this ongoing tragedy. We appeal to OIC nations to urgently provide food and medicines to the Palestinians. We stand united in our support for an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital.