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Pakistan's ex-PM Shehbaz Sharif says Nawaz not a 'Laadla' but otherwise

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Lahore, Jan 18 (PTI) Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, taking a potshot at those who call his elder brother a ‘favourite’ of the powerful establishment, said Nawaz Sharif is not a "Laadla" but someone else is.

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Referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party founder and jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, Shehbaz said: “Whatever happened in the past shows that Nawaz Sharif is not a ladla ... someone else is." "The plane hijacking case (in 1999) and his ouster for not taking a salary from his son (in 2017) prove that Nawaz is not a Ladla but otherwise,” he said.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has been calling Nawaz Sharif "Ladla-II" since his return to Pakistan three months ago from a self-imposed exile in Britain.

The PTI, on the other hand, says Nawaz is the establishment’s ‘new favourite’ and is set to become prime minister for the fourth time “with the blessings of the quarters concerned”.

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“There is no truth in suggestions that Nawaz Sharif is using the shoulders of the establishment (to become premier),” Dawn News quoted Shehbaz as saying.

The PML-N leader blamed PTI founder Imran Khan for polarisation in society.

“This man has poisoned young minds. We will have to invest in the youth to de-poison them,” he said.

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In reply to a question about the party’s manifesto, Shehbaz said: “Our first, second and third priority will be the youth if we come to power.” The younger Sharif further said he was confident the nation would choose “performance, progress, and prosperity over fraud, disaster, and anarchy” in the general election.

“Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz will stand united and lead the nation towards a bright future. This election is a defining moment for the nation’s future,” he said.

Shehbaz said Nawaz was keen to restart the journey where it was broken in 2017.

“This will be a double journey — a commitment to rectify wrongs and steer the country away from bankruptcy. We worked day and night to avert an economic collapse." Stressing the need for unity, Shehbaz said: "It is essential for Pakistan to move in one direction. Nawaz Sharif’s previous tenure is a testament to the positive impact we can make when we work collectively for the nation’s betterment.” PTI PY PY PY

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