Generally considered a conservative political party that supports free market capitalism, democratic ideals and is anti-censorship, the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is among the few major political entities that shaped Pakistan as it is today.
While the party’s popularity has taken massive blows in recent years owing to the alleged involvement of its leadership, especially former party chief and thrice-elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in corrupt practices, here are five reasons you have to love PML-N for, nonetheless.
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5. Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill:
The Shehbaz administration passed in the provincial assembly the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill 2015, granting sweeping powers to women, particularly in their marital life.
While the bill invited strong criticism from religious circles that termed some of the clauses of the new law “repugnant to the basic canons of Islam”, it was finally passed by the Punjab Assembly in February 2016, providing comprehensive protection to women against a range of crimes.
4. 126 days of patience:
Among other achievements of the PML-N during its last tenure were the 126 days of patience while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan continued his Azadi march and subsequent sit-in in the federal capital from August 14 to December 17, 2014.
The patience that the then ruling party resorted to – without launching a rigorous crackdown and later accepting the protesters’ demands – calls for accepting it as a reason to love the PML-N.
3. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor:
PML-N supremo Nawaz is credited for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which has brought $46 billion investment to Pakistan.
The project is a collection of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout the country, the value of which was worth $62 billion as of 2017.
Officials predict that CPEC will result in the creation of over 2 million jobs by the year 2030 and will add 2 to 2.5 percent points to the country’s annual economic growth.
2. Dealing with the energy crisis:
The PML-N government launched several power plants in Sahiwal, Port Qasim, Jamshoro, Faisalabad, Mianwali and DG Khan besides a solar park in Bahawalpur and wind farms in Sindh to overcome the once “uncontrollable” power shortage.
Its pre-2013 polls promise to bring about US$20 billion for the energy sector was also fulfilled which positively impacted the lives of the people, at least until 2018.
1. War on terror:
The then premier Nawaz launched the Karachi operation in 2013 as part of which hundreds of criminals, gangs and terrorist were held and sentenced.
Zarbe Azab was also one of the biggest and most successful anti-terrorism operations ever, which was launched by the Nawaz government. The operation launch was followed by the formation of the National Action Plan later in 2015 to crack down on terrorism and supplement the anti-terrorist offensives.
It was considered as a major coordinated state retaliation following the deadly APS Peshawar attack and received unprecedented levels of support and co-operation across the country’s political spectrum.