LAHORE: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif Saturday urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to form a full court commission to investigate the allegations levelled by PTI chief Imran Khan against the premier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and the top army officer regarding alleged involvement in the Wazirabad attack.
Condemning the assassination attack on Khan, PM Shahbaz said while people from all walks of life denounced the incident, Khan shouldn’t have “stooped to such a level, where since last two days he is levelling false and cheap allegations against the military and the coalition government.”
Addressing a press conference — which was postponed on Thursday because of the attack on PTI’s convoy — PM Shahbaz said: “The incident was unfortunate and we pray for the speedy recovery of all people who sustained injuries, including Khan.”
However, the premier lamented that PTI was once again hatching a “false and cheap” conspiracy by levelling allegations against him, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior official of an institute.
“The attack is condemnable, however, when the nation is being pushed towards devastation by false narratives it is my responsibility that I play a positive role to protect the people,” he said, urging the PTI chief to present evidence to support his allegations.
PM Shahbaz further said that Khan is damaging the country through his “false and cheap conspiracies”, adding that he is also building negative narratives against the institutions.
During the presser, a video was shown to the journalists which had a compilation of Khan’s clips since 2011 where he can be heard speaking about the army and military officials.
Criticising Khan for his contradictory statements throughout his political career, the premier said: “Imran Khan’s tales are full of contradictions. I cannot, for even a moment, waste my time thinking that this man — who was granted a new life by Allah — is lying day and night. Today, he is attacking the Pakistan army in a way an enemy would do.”
The prime minister slammed the PTI chief for his comments against state institutions, particularly Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family and lamented about enemy nations celebrating the critical situation in Pakistan.
“What else would an enemy country like India want? They are celebrating today. India’s TV channels are excited to see Khan speak ill about the ISI and military institutions as [the PTI chief] is levelling severe allegations against them that one couldn’t even think about,” PM Shahbaz said, deeming Khan an “idol of lies — from tip to toe”.
“Unfortunately, he is trying to derail the nation. But this country of 22 million people will be protected by Allah.”
The prime minister spoke about the Rs10 billion Panama case filed against him five years ago following Khan’s campaign against the Sharif brothers and the PML-N.
“The case registered against me five years ago continues to date in the Lahore High Court. Several judges came and left, but his lawyers do not show up, even though it was being heard during their government,” the premier said, highlighting how the PTI-led government issued an ordinance to appoint retired judges in the accountability court — only to blackmail them and use them against the opposition.
“People like [former NAB chairman] Javed Iqbal were used. Tayyaba Gul was forcefully kept in the PM House and blackmailed through Iqbal so that he could be used against us and for cases against them to be quashed,” PM Shahbaz said underscoring that his intentions were only to punish the PML-N.
In response to Khan's allegations against PM Shahbaz regarding the Model Town case, the premier said: “In the Model Town case, the trial court — during their regime — gave me and my colleagues a clean chit and the Lahore High Court also stood with the verdict.”
He also questioned Khan’s corruption allegations against himself and the Sharif family with regards to the Multan Metro case, the $17 million corruption case which also maligned China, and the Daily Mail’s Department for International Development (DFID) story against himself published on Khan and his former aide on accountability Shehzad Akbar’s behest.
“He damages institutions, the economy, and foreign relations. I have certain secrets regarding the country’s foreign relations buried in my heart which, if I share, would leave you shocked. But I will not talk about it because I am faithful. I will not sacrifice Pakistan’s interest for personal gains,” the premier said speaking about the damage Khan’s government had on the country.
Recalling the incidents that took place since a no-confidence motion was filed against Khan earlier this year, PM Shahbaz reiterated that PTI’s government was removed in a constitutional manner.
Coming back to the Wazirabad incident, the premier said: “It was the Punjab government’s responsibility and they should be held accountable for the incident."
He added that the inspector-general and chief secretary belong to them then why haven’t they conducted a forensic of the four bullets [which they are claiming have hit Khan]?
“On October 28, the federal agency wrote a letter to the Punjab government about threats of terrorist attacks on Khan’s long march,” the premier said, adding that it was the provincial administration’s responsibility to ensure safety after the letter was shared with them.
The premier further added that the Punjab government should be questioned about the incident and about the delay in registering the first information report.
Clarifying that he was totally against playing the religion card but when Ahsan Iqbal was attacked in the name of religion nobody asked about his well-being.
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, who was an interior minister then, was injured after a young man opened fire on him at a corner meeting in his constituency in Narowal on May 7, 2018.
Reiterating his stance that Khan is levelling false allegations, PM Shahbaz challenged the PTI chief to present evidence proving the involvement of PM Shahbaz, Sanauallah and a senior army officer.
The premier maintained that if Khan successfully shows evidence to the people that he was behind the attack, then “I don’t have a right to continue to hold the Prime Minister's Office.”
Berating Khan for his “false conspiracies”, the premier called Khan out for crticising the institution which gave several sacrifices. “Nobody can say a such ill thing against this institution,” he added.
In response to a question regarding Senator Azam Swati’s video — which was surfacing on the social media — PM Shahbaz said that this has been brought to his knowledge and he has directed the Ministry of Interior to take notice. He vowed to bring the findings in front of the people.
"If we listen to IMF, then inflation goes up, and if we don’t then Pakistan comes to brink of default," says PML-N...
Army chief to address 5th joint UK-Pakistan stabilisation conference at Wilton Park between February 5-8
Gen Pervez Musharraf took power via bloodless coup in 1999
Special plane carrying body of ex-army chief will land in Rawalpindi today , say diplomatic officials
President Alvi calls upon world to hold India accountable, PM Shehbaz urges India to hold its commitment to UN
Sheikh Rashid has been transferred to Adiala Jail after the court dismissed a plea seeking his physical remand