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February 21, 2018

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Nawaz pitching parliament against judiciary: Imran

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, on Tuesday warned the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against seeking a confrontation between the parliament and the judiciary.

Talking to reporters here, Imran Khan threatened to launch a campaign if former prime minister Nawaz Sharif made an attempt to use the parliament against the judiciary.

"The PML-N has a history of attacking the judiciary. Its workers and leaders staged an attack on the Supreme Court in 1997 when it was hearing a contempt of court case against the-then prime minister Nawaz Sharif," he said after inaugurating the recently-renovated Peshawar Sports Complex.

Imran Khan said that Nawaz Sharif feared judgement against him in the corruption and money-laundering cases in the Accountability Court and was, therefore, trying to drag the parliament into the issue in a bid to pressurise the judiciary.

“Nawaz Sharif launched a vilification campaign to malign the superior judiciary to put pressure on the judges and the Accountability Court in the money-laundering cases against the Sharif family,” he alleged. "Now the parliament is being used against the judiciary but the PTI would not let it happen. We will bring the people on roads in support of the judiciary. Mend your ways or don't complain if we launched a protest campaign," he warned.

The PTI chief said the courts had given several opportunities to Nawaz Sharif and his children to prove their source of income and innocence but they failed to satisfy the judges.

Imran Khan alleged that Nawaz Sharif was committing contempt of court in his speeches in public meetings. He said that no action against Nawaz Sharif was taken despite his tirade against the judiciary and this encouraged him to become aggressive. "Nawaz Sharif is getting emboldened and spewing venom against the judges and judiciary," he added.

Imran Khan renewed his allegation that Nawaz Sharif laundered Rs300 billion. The cricketer-turned politician also criticised Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and said the Punjab government staged fake 'police encounters'. He alleged that Shahbaz Sharif got killed several people in fake encounters through a former cop Abid Boxer, who was wanted by the police in extrajudicial killings.

To a question, he welcomed the National Accountability Bureau's announcement to probe the use of official helicopter of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government by him. Imran Khan said that he never used the provincial government’s helicopter for personal purposes. "I only used the helicopter to inaugurate uplift projects and the ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ project. The helicopter was used solely for official purposes," he added. The PTI chief said he never used public money for personal reasons. "I pay for my expenses whenever I stay in the KP government's rest house in Nathiagali. I never use public funds to pay for my personal expenses," he clarified. He alleged that the Sharif family was using the Punjab government helicopter for personal engagements and asked the NAB to probe the allegations. "Maryam Nawaz is using the official helicopter like a cab," he alleged.

About the upcoming Senate election, Imran Khan said his party would easily secure six out of the total 11 Senate seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Without naming anyone, he claimed that someone offered him Rs400 million for award of the PTI ticket for contesting the Senate election.

He said all the lawmakers belonging to the PTI would vote for the party candidates in the Senate election. "The youth have decided to stage sit-ins outside the residences of the party's lawmakers if anyone of them voted against the PTI candidates in the election to the Upper House of the Parliament," he maintained. Imran Khan said the PTI, upon coming to power, would change the procedure for the Senate election, adding that the voters would directly elect a senator as is being done in the United States to put an end to horse-trading. He refused to answer and take questions about his third marriage.

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