ISLAMABAD: The rivalry between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)) took a new turn Tuesday when PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced to go to the Supreme Court against PML-N’s Khawaja Asif for what he called his leveling of baseless charges against him for misusing Zakat fund meant for Shaukat Khanum Cancer Memorial Hospital and indulging in money-laundering. The case will be filed with the apex court through Salman Akram Raja Advocate.
He made an appeal to the Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take up the case at the earliest so that truth was brought before public, saying the PML-N allegations were hurting the largest charity hospital in Pakistan. Imran challenged PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif not to hide behind Khawaja Asif and Ch Nisar, urging him to be a lion and come in the open to reply to his eleven questions. “Respond to these questions instead of giving them away to kids,” he remarked. Among others, Dr Israr Shah, Inamullah Niazi, Naeemul Haq and Ahmad Jawad were also present on the occasion.
During his news conference on Sunday, Nawaz Sharif did not even bother to give a slight reference to these queries that pertained to the alleged money-laundering, misuse of authority, building the Raiwind palatial empire with public funds and establishment of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.
A visibly perturbed Imran told a news conference here that he did not want to respond to the allegations hurled at him by Ch Nisar Ali Khan of PML-N, though these were baseless and unfounded. He said he would take him to the court if he also accused him of corruption.
He contended if Khawaja Asif knew about any wrongdoing, he should have made it public any time, but on purpose he chose to speak to the media during the month of Ramazan to damage the collection of Zakat for the cancer hospital.
“Where will we get the money from if the donations are frozen? What will happen to the poor patients who are given cancer treatment for free at Pakistan’s only charity hospital,” he wondered. Imran recalled how a Lahore-based newspaper had flashed a headline about the imminent shutting down of the cancer hospital in 1997 but he travelled all over the world to save it and people donated for the charity initiative generously and whole-heartedly.
PTI chief said in Peshawar cancer hospital was going to be launched soon. “We want donation for it but they (PML-N) will harm it too. Not only this, Karachi cancer hospital too is in the process and we are looking for land for the hospital,” he noted and pointed out so many cancer patients had to be refused because of so much rush already at the cancer hospital, as at least two more hospitals were necessary to treat large number of cancer patients.
Imran noted that every year a sum of Rs2 billion is spent on treating the patients admitted at the SKMH. “We have to actually vacate our hospital time-to-time in order to accommodate new patients, because the hospital witnesses huge turnover of patients.”
He contended that the cancer hospital and Namal University were not his factories like those of PML-N leaders but these were to serve the people of Pakistan. Imran repeated the allegations of Khawaja Asif against his person, and in particular when he compared him with Double Shah. Imran challenged Khawaja Asif to prove he had misused Zakat fund from the Endowment Fund or that it was made out of money-laundering.
PTI chief pointed out that Nawaz had indulged in money-laundering and the British Broadcasting Corporation had made a documentary on the subject.