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Tuesday November 30, 2021

Organisers, vendors to face cases: No bar on PDM’s rallies, says PM Imran Khan

I will leave the office of PM but will never betray the country by giving them an NRO, said PM in an interview

By Agencies
December 06, 2020

Organisers, vendors to face cases: No bar on PDM’s rallies, says PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Ahead of the Pakistan Democratic Movement's rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on December 13, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday vowed that he will never grant amnesty to the opposition.

"The only thing they want is an NRO. I will leave the office of PM but will never betray the country by giving them an NRO," he said in an interview to a private news channel.

He said the opposition did not hold the country's interests at heart.

The premier ruled out the possibility of government granting permission to the PDM to hold a public gathering, and warned that cases would be filed against the organisers.

"We will file FIRs against everyone — from the kursi wala to the sound system handlers, he said, adding, "But we won’t stop them [Opposition leaders] from going there."

Despite local administrations denying permission for public meetings owing to the second wave of coronavirus, the PDM has so far organised two political events — one in Peshawar and another in Multan.

Deputy commissioner Lahore has also refused to grant permission for the rally due to the ongoing health crisis in the country.

“Whenever they talked (in a veiled reference to PML-N and PPP), they tried to blackmail the government over their corruption cases as had happened during the FATAF legislation in parliament,” the prime minister said.

“I can leave my office, but cannot think of committing any treason with the country,” he added.

Referring to the opposition’s demands, Imran said they wanted NRO on their graft cases and asked how could the parliament work under such conditions.

To a question, he said the PDM leaders were holding their next public gathering in Lahore where the COVID-19 cases were sharply rising, with dozens of deaths.

He said the government would not provide an opportunity to this “union of crooks” to create political dramas and take a strict action against the organizers who broke the laws.

The prime minister said the government had decided against holding of public gatherings after rise in coronavirus cases.

“For the last 30 years, these two parties (PML-N and PPP) remained in power and framed cases against each other, he said,” adding, “General (retired) Pervez Musharraf gave them an NRO and Swiss cases were dropped even after spending billions of rupees in prosecution of graft cases.”

“The country’s debt surged from Rs6,000 billion in 2008 to whopping Rs30,000 billion in ten years. Musharraf gave them NROs to save his office,” he said.

To a question, the prime minister said there should be no two different sets of law for the powerful and the common people.

About his cases in the Supreme Court, Imran said he had submitted replies with all the required documents and money trail but on the other hand, these corrupt rulers failed to even provide a single document to justify amassing of ill-gotten pelf.

About his vision of Naya Pakistan, the prime minister said he wanted the country to stand on its feet, as it was blessed with huge potentials and resources.

About uniform curriculum in the country, he credited Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mahmood for developing a consensus over the system.

He said efforts were afoot to introduce a uniform education system in the country next year.

About his cricket career and his stay in UK for studies, the prime minister said he personally witnessed different aspects of two different cultures of UK and Pakistan, which ultimately changed his views.

He regretted that under colonialism, superiority and inferiority complexes were handed over to the ruled nations.

He said those western impacts played a vital role in his upbringing because he always reviewed his personal life and his cricket life.

“The evolution process started from my personal experiences in the UK,” he added.

To a query, the prime minister said he had witnessed breaking of family system in the United Kingdom whereas they had strong family system which ‘is our strength’.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said they had no problem with the meetings of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Addressing a press conference at CM’s office, he said the PTI had also reduced its meetings in view of increase in coronavirus cases.

“If anyone has a problem, they should bring a no-confidence motion in the assembly,” he added.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister (SACM) Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan Saturday said the entire PDM seemed to be highly ignorant, as it was not realising the seriousness of the corona pandemic.

In a statement, she said the opposition was soaked in the virus of corruption and was only worried about its nefarious politics rather than the public.

She said COVID-19 was spreading apace and death rate was increasing.

Firdous said Lahore had reported maximum number of corona patients, which was more than 60,000.

Around 540 confirmed corona cases have surfaced whereas 22 people have died during the last 24 hours in Punjab, she said.

Firdous warned that under such circumstances holding public gatherings could result in further spread of this outbreak.

She said the PDM was trying to put the lives of people at risk for their negative politics and asked the opposition to stop playing with the lives of people.