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Monday May 27, 2024

Govt says Imran wants his selection with ‘facilitators help’

By Our Correspondent
March 27, 2023

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan wanted his selection as prime minister again with the help of some facilitators.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, she said Imran didn’t want elections in the country, adding that PTI chief’s allegations of cipher, long march, Jail Bharo Tehreek, Zaman Park attacks and threats to his life were part of his greater plan to make a way for a come back.

The minister said the people of Pakistan remember his tenure as a black chapter in the history of the country as they were now paying the price of Imran’s four-year misrule, which was marked by corruption, incompetence and inefficiency.

“PTI Chairman Imran Khan did not have political issues, rather he was facing psychological problems,” Marriyum claimed, adding, last year Imran had concocted the fake narrative of foreign conspiracy about toppling his government, which was accepted by his followers and cult members, while PTI social media gangs working from abroad claimed that imported government had been installed in Pakistan.

The narrative of international conspiracy started from cipher, blaming the United States, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and then caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi. Those who accused the US of conspiracy were now tendering apologies and seeking pardon, she said, ridiculing the PTI.

She wondered how the followers of PTI still believe in baseless allegations of Imran.

The minister said that on Saturday the people of Lahore completely rejected Imran and the PTI had to use old pictures and even Minar-e-Pakistan was removed from the pictures.

The minister said that on failure of the cipher narrative, Imran started a long march which was doomed while giving it Islamic touch. Jail Bharo movement was started after the long march disaster during which journalists and police personnel were martyred.

She said Imran was always ready to lead and address political rallies and marches but when the courts summoned him, he started making excuses of his old age, injury, diseases and above all threat to life.

The minister said that Imran, who refused to go to court, went to Minar-e-Pakistan to address a rally. She said he was neither sick, nor was he an elderly person, nor he faced any threat to life when going to address the rally but he would not go to court to face cases of foreign funding, Toshakhana and Tyrian.

Marriyum said the Constitution and law of the land could not follow the dictates of a person who had the mindset of a devil. She said terrorists were present in Zaman Park from where petrol bombs were thrown at police and slingshots and stones were used.

The minister said that if Imran wanted fresh elections, why did he dissolve the National Assembly after no-confidence motion was tabled and why did he force the speaker, deputy speaker and even the president to violate the Constitution?

Castigating Imran’s so-called 10-point agenda, she said the PTI ruled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for 10 years, it remained in power at the Centre and Punjab for almost four years but set a record of bad governance and corruption.

Taking a jibe at Imran, she said he was supposed to revive the national economy through buffaloes and eggs but the country’s loans were nearly doubled in only four years’ time.

She said when Imran, Bushra Bibi, Farah Gogi and other looters from the PTI would be brought to book, the rule of law would be established in Pakistan.

About Imran’s claim of preparing a database of the poor, she said Benazir Income Support Programme was a database which he shamelessly renamed as Ehsas programme. She said if Imran would make a database, the beneficiaries would be Pinki Peerni, Farah Gogi and Shehzad Akbar, etc.

She said during his tenure, Imran Khan only renamed the public welfare projects of the previous government. She said the PMLN health programme was given the title of Health Insaf Card whereas youth programme was renamed as Kamyab Jawan programme but he could not run these programmes.

She said Imran claimed to provide 5,000,000 housing units to the poor segments of society and create 10 million jobs but, on the contrary, over 10 million people lost jobs during the PTI rule and he failed to build housing units for the poor. She said that the house building scheme was taken over by Bushra Bibi through Al Qadir Trust.

Instead Imran Khan plunged the national economy in the Tsunami of unemployment and inflation due to which the common man suffered badly. About Imran’s claims to control money laundering, she said the PTI chairman should submit a reply to foreign funding case in the court, and the money laundering issue would get settled.

She said it was ironic that a person who laundered money by using private jets was talking about controlling money laundering. She also said that Imran got approval from the cabinet to hand over $190 million public money to a private party.

She said when the PMLN tenure ended in 2018, inflation related to edibles was only 2 percent and prices of wheat flour, sugar, ghee and cooking oil were controlled and tariffs of electricity and gas were reasonable despite IMF conditions.

When the PTI came to power, the growth rate fell to below zero whereas the assets of Imran Khan and his cronies multiplied. She said the PMLN leadership, which really strived for development of the country, focused on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, LNG terminals, road infrastructure projects, farm-to-market roads, mega projects for power generation during their tenure.

She said unlike the PMLN achievements, Imran could not accomplish even a single mega project for the welfare of people.

“Imran Khan during his tenure in power, only conspired against the country and its people and ruined its economy”, she said, adding that the people of Pakistan were fully aware of Imran’s antics and they can no longer be fooled by Imran’s 10-point agenda.

The federal minister said now Imran’s narrative has been buried and he was only trying to divert attention from the Toshakhana case, Tyrian White paternity issue and the foreign funding scam.

She said that Imran who committed robberies on the national exchequer during his rule and had given free hand to his cronies to loot and plunder, had the audacity to claim that he would bring all under the ambit of law. She alleged that Imran used Zakat donations for political purposes and invested Shaukat Khanum Hospital charity money in the property business.

She said that PTI had claimed that the Minar-e-Pakistan rally was very successful but it had to delete old footage within minutes after uploading. “Imran Khan has no option left as his politics, narrative and conspiracies had failed and he had been pleading to the chief of army staff to give him time for meeting”.

The minister said that Imran has been deceiving his own party leaders and workers by creating a narrative based on falsehood and lies.

She said now he was talking about human rights violations, but he had forgotten how he treated his political opponents and media professionals during his rule. She said during the PTI regime, media persons were attacked and kidnapped and he earned the infamous title of predator of media at the international level.

She recalled that Imran put his political opponents in death cells, not even sparing the sisters and daughters of political adversaries. She said that Imran who kept Tayyaba Gul illegally confined in the PM House to blackmail the then NAB chairman was now talking about human rights abuses.

She said the United Nations and United States were fully aware of the track record of Imran as prime minister on human rights.

She further said that human rights organisations like Human Rights Watch were aware of Imran’s fascist mindset as he had jailed the entire opposition leadership and looted national exchequer, ruined the economy, made a compromise on Kashmir and deprived the people of employment, electricity and gas.

Replying to media persons’ questions, she said during the Imran era the political opponents were jailed first and then they were booked in fake cases, which were rejected by the courts. But the present government first held investigations, then cases were filed, which were now in courts that had summoned Imran. But he was making lame excuses to avoid court cases. Imran should go to the courts and prove that he had done no money laundering in foreign funding case, he had not committed any irregularities in the Toshakhana gifts case, and that he was not the father of Tyrian White.

She said the PMLN was the only party that revived the national economy in the past and it would again provide relief to the masses by overcoming inflation and unemployment.

To a question, she said that over 80 million people would benefit from the free flour supply scheme during Ramazan. She said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was himself monitoring the scheme.

The minister said that the government was taking steps to stabilise the price of flour in the market.

To another question, she said the prime minister had given a reply to President Arif Alvi’s letter. She questioned who was the president when the entire opposition leadership was sent to prison by Imran Khan and when Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was arrested and Matiullah Jan abducted and Absar Alam and Asad Toor attacked.