ISLAMABAD/CHARSADDA: The Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, on Thursday accused ex-premier Nawaz Sharif of presenting the ailment of his spouse as a 'tool' to emotionally blackmail Pakistanis, telling him that the Adiala Jail is awaiting him.
Talking to media persons here on the occasion of joining ceremony of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) disgruntled leader Syed Zafar Ali Shah to the PTI, he emphasised that their hearts were with ailing Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
“My mother also had cancer and I had to take her abroad. But this does not mean that this should be used to emotionally blackmail the nation,” he asserted.
Imran quipped, “You did not remember Kulsoom Nawaz when she was (undergoing treatment) in London and you were holding rallies across Pakistan." He made these remarks while referring to an application submitted to the accountability court by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, requesting that the date of announcement of the verdict in the Avenfield reference be extended from the already fixed July 6.
He asked Nawaz to come to Pakistan, as the Adiala Jail was awaiting him, as he himself was saying that he wanted to hear the judgment in the court. “You will read the verdict in newspapers now, while we will wait for you, as Adiala Jail is waiting for you,” he maintained.
Imran emphasised that the law was blind and applied to all equally, asking Nawaz was this concession available to a common culprit, which he was requesting for? “Here the law is different for the weak and the powerful and this is the reason of fizzling out of leading nations,” he argued.
About the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) decision not to arrest politicians till the July 25 general elections, Imran said this was like two teams were engaged in a play and a fixer was caught of a team and now it was being emphasised that he should not be thrown out, as this would spoil the match, wondering this was beyond comprehension.
“We are making Pakistan a banana republic ourselves, as the law discriminates against none. When the law holds ground, it applies equally to all instead of having different approach for the powerful,” he said.
Imran lamented that during the last five years, the parliament had failed to play its role, as there was a ‘muk-muka’ between the government and opposition.
“The country’s prime minister was caught red-handed with corruption but none rose against him and compelled us to take to roads to resolve the issue, which should have been handled by the assembly,” he said. Imran again said that all the PML-N ministers knew about the Sharifs’ London flats.
Welcoming Zafar Ali Shah, a local politician into the party's fold, Imran said he hoped the former senator would raise his voice if he saw the PTI leadership engaging in any sort of financial corruption just like he had raised his voice against Nawaz Sharif. He said time would prove that Zafar Ali Shah had made a correct decision for becoming a part of the PTI.
He was confident that Shah's joining would strengthen the PTI in NA-53, where the party's position was weak. The PTI chief said that he still remembered how Shah had defeated him from Islamabad in 1997 general elections.
Earlier, Shah welcomed PTI chairman upon his arrival at his residence in Islamabad and said that now Imran Khan was his Quaid and that all of Pakistan was with him today. The veteran politician was flanked by his well-wishers and supporters.
The former senator pledged to play his role as a politician and asserted that Pakistan needed a leader like Imran while praising him for having destroyed several corrupt persons. Shah said that Imran did not have a tainted past.
Meanwhile, addressing a huge public meeting in Charsadda, Imran Khan promised to strengthen the state institutions and place them in the service of the people if his party was voted to power in the elections.
“Small thieves are languishing in jails, but the dacoits are roaming freely in our dear motherland. You will have to ensure the success of PTI in the general elections if you want to bring the country out of this morass,” he said.
The PTI candidates for national and provincial assemblies from Charsadda, including Fazal Muhammad Khan, Malik Anwar Taj, Fazal Shakoor Khan, Sultan Muhammad Khan, Khalid Khan Mohmand, Azizullah Khan and Arif Ahmadzai spoke on the occasion as well.
Imran Khan came down hard on Nawaz Sharif and accused him of committing massive corruption.
“Nawaz Sharif is a criminal who resorted to graft and that crime affected the entire nation. He did an irreparable loss to the country by embezzling Rs300 billion,” he alleged.
The PTI chief said the corrupt rulers' bank balance swelled considerably during all this time but the poor segments of the society were finding it hard to get a two-time meal.
Imran Khan accused Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Zardari, Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Ameer Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao of promoting family politics and own wards.
“At present (PPP Chairman) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maryam Nawaz are seen concerned about the plight of the poor. They, in fact, have no idea of poverty as they have never gone through destitution,” he said while scoffing at the young members of the two political parties and accusing the JUI-F head of promoting his brothers in politics.
The PTI chief was critical of the ANP chief’s son, Aimal Wali Khan, and QWP head’s son, Sikandar Hayat Khan, and asked the people sarcastically about their sources of income.
“I know about the son of Aftab Sherpao as he remained a member of the KP coalition government for some time, but let me know about the son of Asfandyar,” he said, while addressing the workers who kept on chanting slogans intermittently.
Imran Khan said it was not him who had levelled allegations of corruption against the ANP leaders. “The use of word ‘Easy load to Baba’ was not coined by me. It was a common knowledge,” he said while repeating the charges of corrupt practices against the Pakhtun nationalist party leaders.
The PTI chief said one could disagree with the thoughts and ideology of Bacha Khan, but there was no doubt about the fact that he was a great leader. He said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a great leader as well and Pakistan came into being due to his dynamic struggle and sacrifices.
The PTI chief said Fazlur Rehman was a politician who had remained the part and parcel of every government due to his politics.
Imran took swipe at the PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif for his Lahore-centric approach to development.
“The development budget of only Lahore was greater than that of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. All the uplift schemes of Shahbaz Sharif were limited to advertisements,” he said.
The PTI chief criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its decision of not arresting the election candidates who had corruption charges against them till the conclusion of the elections. “The NAB has murdered justice by announcing delay in the arrest of thieves and dacoits till July 25,” he argued.