LAHORE - Former premier Nawaz Sharif Thursday said conspiracies had begun against him in 2014, just a year after his coming to power as a result of the 2013 general elections.

“Just one year after the start of my tenure, the series of 1993-like conspiracies started against me. This happened when I announced CPEC on July 5, 2013. Immediately after that political confrontation was fanned, which triggered postponement of the Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan, said Nawaz Sharif in his massage which PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurengzeb read out on his behalf to the gathering at the unveiling ceremony of the PML-N manifesto for the election 2018.

In the massage, Nawaz Sharif recalled April 17, 1993, last day before the end of his government when he said ‘a few persons of an institution’ were involved in conspiracies against him and added the purpose of the current conspiracies is to destabilise the country. He also termed the PTI dharna of 2014 highly harmful to the national interests and said the conspiracies against him were later extended to Panama Papers in which his name was not even mentioned, but formed the basis of ‘fabricated’ cases against him. “I was first removed from premiership, then as the PML-N president. These are the steps which find no parallel in the history,” Nawaz Sharif said. “I once again make it clear to all that democratic norms are above my life and the party as it is a question of federal, parliamentary and democratic Pakistan.”

Nawaz Sharif said “vote ko izzat do” is not merely a slogan on his part, but also a part of his faith. Recalling that Pakistan also came into being on the strength of vote, he said when he speaks about paying respect to vote, in fact, he talks about the basis on which Pakistan was established. He vowed to ensure sanctity of vote and its preservation.

The former prime minister also pinpointed the defeat of Madar-e-Millat Mohtama Fatima Jinnah at the hands of military dictator Ayub Khan in the rigged presidential election and said had that not happened and Fatima Jinnah had been elected, Dhaka Fall would have never have come to pass.

He said the PML-N politics revolves around the slogan for a strong Pakistan and struggle for building the country as it is the only party that holds the credit of taking historic decision like making the country atomic power, bringing peace to Karachi and reaching the pact like CPEC which are contributing to making Pakistan a great state in the current century.

He also thanked the people for standing by him through thick and thin and said now when the country is at a crossroad, they have to decide whether the fate of Pakistan will be decided by a ‘handful of conspirators’ or the masses through their power of vote. He concluded with the hope that the people of Pakistan like in the past will again stand by the truth and vote for PML-N.