Sherry slams Imran’s ‘two-faced approach towards US’

August 19, 2022

The PTI’s gross hypocrisy has been exposed even more acutely, says sherry Rehman

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Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman addressing the leaders during Islamabad Business Summit 2022.— APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday was accused in the Senate of having a two-faced approach by raising hue and cry over alleged US conspiracy to topple his regime and at the same time hiring American firms for lobbying for better ties with Washington.

Responding to PTI Senators’ criticism of the government, PPP Senator and Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman questioned PTI’s continued two-faced approach towards politics and said: “The PTI’s gross hypocrisy has been exposed even more acutely. They hired an American consulting firm Grenier Consulting in 2021 run by a former CIA station chief in Islamabad to lobby and advise the party on Pak-US relations. Remember that this was when the PTI was still in power while Imran Khan was making speeches against the US and slowly isolating Pakistan, with a foreign policy in ruins.”

“These shocking details of the PTI deals keep surfacing,” she pointed out and first, it was Grenier Consulting, and recently it is Fenton Arlook. Despite receiving the ‘letter’ on March 7, 2022, alleging that the opposition was conspiring with the US against the current government, i.e., PTI, through vote of no-confidence, the party still entered a contract with Grenier Consulting in March 2022.

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“This is just another reason why Imran Khan’s claim to bring ‘Haqeeqi Azaadi’ does not add up. How can you blatantly blame foreign conspiracy and call out the US while simultaneously entering contracts for lobbying in the same country? PTI is two-faced about its politics in the country, and the evidence for it is in front of us all,” she contended.

She asked why Imran Khan thinks he can receive special treatment; other political leaders have spent years in jails, Asif Ali Zardari spent more than 11 years in jail, Faryal Talpur was picked up in a military-grade vehicle in the middle of the night from the hospital as if she was a terrorist, Maryam Nawaz, too, had a similar experience.

She asked why does Imran Khan think he is above the law or deserves any kind of special treatment. She charged that the PTI was acting like goons, threatening bloodshed and chaos in the country. Imran Khan called for a long march, a march that never was. Very few showed up, which goes to show where the party’s support stands. The PPP called for a long march, and we did it without a single pot breaking, without leaving anything harmed; that is what a peaceful long march is like. We cannot continue to just criticise the PTI and its chairman any longer. The law must and will prevail. Imran Khan needs to answer for his decisions, resign as the leader, and apologise to the nation for his lies.”

Despite the fact that southwestern part of Punjab is ravaged by floods, she regretted the PTI is not bothered to either help with flood relief or even talking about it in the Parliament. “However, it is the military doing rescue operations in DG Khan due to floods ravaging the province; around 500 people have been evacuated. But the PTI government is not doing anything about the human tragedy afflicting the area they govern,” she said.

Earlier, the moment, the chair referred the bill to provide protection to a person during custody from all acts of torture perpetrated by public officials [The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Bill, 2022], as passed by the National Assembly, to the House standing committee for consideration and report, the government came under fire from the opposition benches.

Leader of Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem was on his feet and he came hard on the government for the alleged violence committed on Shahbaz Gill and wondered what this bill stood for and where is the Constitution and human rights despite Pakistan being signatory to the world conventions and human, political and civil rights.

He claimed Gill was finding it hard even to breathe but the way, he was treated reflected that the fascist government had no regard for the Constitution and the law.

“When it comes to its political designs, the government can go to any extent. The message is clear; he must be subjected to so much torture that a statement of their choice could be extracted from him for using against Imran Khan and the PTI,” he charged.

The government, he alleged, after failing to compete with Imran in political arena, was now going for other tactics but will be held accountable for its actions. He then led the opposition’s token walk-out from the house.

Leader of the House and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar advised Senator Shahzad to ask PPP workers and leaders and PMLN leaders and how a fake case of 15-kg heroine was filed against Rana Sanaullah and none felt ashamed when Faryal Talpur was taken away from a hospital during the PTI rule.

He contended Gill must have cared about his speech but the PTI had been targeting the state institutions continuously and such trend was never witnessed in the past when the youth, the military officers and jawans were incited to rebel against the state institutions and the high command.

The minister insisted legal way was being adopted for second remand of Gill but the provincial government of Punjab was standing before the federation instead of complying with the court orders. However, he agreed that in the Constitution and the law, there was no room for torture but it was also wrong to run away from investigation in the name of torture, being contrary to the law, which will make its own way.

PTI Senator Ijaz Chaudhry said those in power had strong contradictions and differences, but were united for political ends. He reminded how the PMLN government had targeted Zardari while Nawaz Sharif had gone abroad for medical treatment but never returned. He claimed the ruling coalition leaders, Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Asif and Ayaz Sadiq had used the harshest language against the army s compared to what Gil had said.

He alleged Gill was subjected to torture and he was witness to it while none was allowed to look after him while a convicted daughter was allowed to take care of her father in London.

“None should tell us what is the role of the army and those who talked about all the institutions should work within their constitutional ambit are silent today,” he regretted.

PPP Senator Behramand Tangi charged that they were talking about a former prime minister, who had been declared thief and looter by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the foreign funding case.

At one point, journalists staged a walk-out from the Press Gallery against the closure of a local TV channel and the hardships, being faced by the community, owing to various reasons. The matter was referred to the house standing committee concerned by the chair.

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