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October 30, 2020

Statement about Abhinandan: Sharaqpuri says Ayaz must be held accountable

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October 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Musloim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Jalil Sharaqpuri Thursday lashed out at former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq for his controversial statement about Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman's release. The PML-N lawmaker has been at odds with the party's leadership ever since he was expelled from the party along with four others, for meeting Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar without informing the PML-N leadership. "My heart is saddened and I felt extreme grief (over Ayaz Sadiq's comments)," he said while addressing a press conference. According to Geo News, Sharaqpuri expressed disappointment that a "sensible person" like Ayaz Sadiq would issue such a weak statement. He said it was not important whether Ayaz Sadiq's comments were true or not. "If he has spoken the truth, then he can be held accountable and the same is the case even if he has not told the truth."

The PML-N disgruntled MPA then turned his guns on the Sharif family, saying that he was previously elected MNA from the PML-N platform and is currently an MPA of the same party.

"We the Muslim Leaguers are (here to work for) Pakistan's progress, not to be slaves for a particular family," said Sharaqpuri, adding that he used to admire Nawaz Sharif because "he is a patriotic person and was beneficial for Pakistan".

However, Sharaqpuri lashed out at the PML-N supremo for his recent comments in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rallies. "Unfortunately, along with a physical illness, he has also contracted a mental one," he said.

"He (Nawaz Sharif) should take care of his health. He went abroad for his treatment, not to do politics," added the PML-N MPA.

Meanwhile, Ayaz Sadiq in a clarification statement lambasted the Indian media for "distorting" his comments from the National Assembly session a day earlier, when he had alleged that the government took the decision to release Abhinandan under pressure.

"One thing is clear: Abhinandan did not come to Pakistan to distribute sweets; he had attacked Pakistan," the PML-N leader said.

He also questioned Prime Minister Imran Khan's motives behind delaying a meeting between top leadership to discuss the pilot's fate.

Abhinandan, following the meeting, was let go by Pakistan as a peace gesture towards its east-side neighbour.

Ayaz Sadiq said that Imran Khan had convened a meeting of parliamentary leaders pertaining to the Indian pilot but it saw a considerable delay in starting. "The prime minister, through foreign minister (Shah Mehmood Qureshi), had said that Abhinandan should be handed over to India immediately. What was the reason for a delay in the meeting?" Sadiq asked. "Was he taking dictation from Modi?"

"Did he not consider it appropriate to share with us (the reason for a delay)?" he inquired.

The PML-N leader criticised the decision made by Imran Khan's government to return the Indian pilot, saying it was "completely wrong". "The downing of Abhinandan's plane was a victory for Pakistan," he said.