Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently serving a 10-year-sentence in connection with the Avenfiled corruption case, released an audio message on Sunday, asking the people of Pakistan to turn up at polling booths in large numbers on 25 July and exercise their franchise to defeat forces who have made turned the country into a prison and made a "tamasha of the post of prime minister" for over 70 years.
"I am seeing that the whole country has been turned into a jail. We have to break these shackles and get out of this jail and rid the 70-year-old game that has turned the prime minister of Pakistan into a tamasha," Nawaz said.
The audio message released a day before the Nawaz and his daughter Maryam Nawaz (also serving a seven-year jail sentence in Adiala) appealed for bail. The audio message comes juxtaposed with images of Nawaz addressing political rallies, his daughter and his last meeting with wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is currently undergoing treatment in London.
"I have been jailed to keep me away from you. The nation's daughter (and mine) Maryam is also in jail. These people don't know that this jail and the sentence will never end my relationship with you. In the past a dictator (Pervez Musharraf) couldn't end our relationship and neither will they be able to break our relationship today. In these hours in jail, I request you that you pray for my wife Kulsoom whom I have left in a critical condition in God's hand," he said.
In the audio message, Nawaz also made reference to his first ouster in 1999 saying even a dictator (Pervez Musharraf) couldn't keep him away.
The three-time Pakistan prime minister also appealed to his supporters to take his party's — (PML-N) — slogan "Vote ko Izzat Do" to the people, and help defeat those who have put him and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in jail.
"I have started this fight with the flag of 'Vote Ko Izzat Do'. And I request everyone to carry the flag. Come out in the open to make 25 July a symbol of victory. Reach out to every nook and corner, every village and city of the country and spread my message. Defeat those who have disgraced your vote in such a way that they can never stand again. Get up, and spread like a movement," he said.
The message ends with Nawaz wishing his supporters "a great victory" in the upcoming election. "Inshallah, a great victory is ahead of you," he said.
Updated Date: Jul 16, 2018 12:31 PM