Monday July 15, 2024

If opposition committed treason, Shehabaz Sharif asks military leadership to provide evidence

Shehbaz Sharif said that General Bajwa and the ISI DG should tell whether the minutes passed by the NSC had been vetted and signed by them

By Ali Raza & Muhammad Anis
April 06, 2022
Pakistan opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif speaks to the media outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on April 5, 2022. AFP
Pakistan opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif speaks to the media outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on April 5, 2022. AFP 

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday asked Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the ISI Director General to present evidence before the nation and the Supreme Court of Pakistan if leaders of the opposition parties had committed treason and sought foreign help to topple the government.

Talking to the media outside the Supreme Court, Shehbaz Sharif said that General Bajwa and the ISI DG should tell whether the minutes passed by the National Security Committee (NSC) had been vetted and signed by them. He also questioned the military leadership whether the minutes had been prepared by the NSC or the establishment, which declared the opposition leaders traitors, enjoyed their approval. “The nation wants answers to these questions,” he maintained.

He, however, said no opposition leader was involved in any foreign conspiracy, adding that he had never spoken such clear words before. He said he would make the same request to the Supreme Court. “We will make this demand through our lawyers and request it to review the matter and create a forum which clarifies it,” he added. Recalling their previous demands, he said they had been raising the issue for three-and-a-half years that the government and the Prime Minister were illegal. He complained that when the joint opposition had submitted a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan practicing its constitutional right, they were dubbed traitors. “If, God forbid, we had committed treason then evidence should be made public and placed before the Supreme Court,” he reiterated.

The opposition leader said it was time for army officials, who have made innumerable sacrifices, to clarify whether the National Security Committee (NSC) had passed minutes in which the role of the opposition in the “foreign conspiracy” was mentioned. To a question about the formation of a caretaker government, the PMLN leader said he had not received President Arif Alvi’s letter, adding that they first wanted the Supreme Court to resolve the issue of the “unconstitutional” step taken by the President and the Prime Minister and then they would talk about other matters. He said if the matter was not resolved, it would be assumed that the country was a banana republic.

Meanwhile, PMLN Vice President Maryum Nawaz said Imran Khan, the National Assembly Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were the biggest culprits of violating the Constitution.

In a hurriedly-called press conference on Tuesday night, Maryum Nawaz said the letter of the ambassador was forged. “Imran Niazi is hiding behind the fake letter. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are guilty. They were bound to follow the Constitution but the biggest culprit is Imran Khan,” she added. “Can the Speaker violate the Constitution with his ruling?” she questioned and said a recommendation was sent to the President of Pakistan to violate the Constitution and the assembly was dissolved.

Maryum said that Imran Khan had called for a protest and only a few hundred people came out. “In the next election you will come as a traitor before the nation. The PMLN and the opposition will not forgive you,” she warned. She said Imran Khan said he would fight till the last ball but he ran away from the assembly. “Today, your government has ended and even the media has stopped covering you,” she added.

Maryum questioned if Imran had the right to use official helicopters and vehicles? She said Farah Khan had escaped to Dubai to hide the corruption of Usman Buzdar. “In reality, Farah Khan was the chief minister instead of Usman Bazdar. Transfer and posting was made only by paying her,” she alleged and warned that Interpol was there for such people. She also alleged that huge funds were spent in the village of Farah Khan and warned that she had to answer all questions.

She claimed that only 55 PTI members went to the Governor’s House to attend an iftar party of Imran Khan. She said it was very important to get rid of Imran Khan in anyway. “Aleem Khan and Jahangir Tareen are giving answers with references what had happened to them,” she said, but avoided to comment on a question why the PMLN had joined hands with then.

“There is no question in the Supreme Court that whether there is an election or not, we have moved the Supreme Court for the implementation of Article 6. We do not believe in violence but we will respond equally to what they do. When you go to public without official security, you will know how people would welcome you with rotten eggs and tomatoes,” she said. To a question, she said they would definitely go to polls but first the decision would be declared unconstitutional.