LAHORE: PMLN Secretary General and Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal has said that Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan, is without a chief minister and cabinet for the last three weeks.
Addressing a press conference in Model Town here on Sunday, the minister said a constitutional crisis had been going on for three weeks. "The National Security Committee has twice made it clear that there was no external conspiracy in the ambassador's letter. After the report of the intelligence agencies that the government was not changed though an external conspiracy, such nonsense should be buried," he said.
"You lodged false cases against us but we will not make any false case against you. The world will see that there will be no retaliation. The law will take its course on the basis of evidence instead of dreams," he said while answering a question. He said when the no-confidence move was presented, Imran Khan kept saying that he would take three wickets with one ball but when he saw he was going to be bowled, he started propagating that an international conspiracy had been hatched against him.
"While sitting on the PM's chair, Imran Niazi played ruthlessly against the country's foreign policy and now he is playing with the country's Constitution and sovereignty only to satisfy his ego," he said, adding Imran Khan was constantly playing with national interests.
Ahsan Iqbal said the country needed to be strengthened, not like Cuba or North Korea, but like South Korea, China, Malaysia, Japan and Turkey. He claimed that not a single project had been started during the Imran regime. "The first external pillar of the Pakistani economy, China, was angered and relations with it were sealed," Ahsan claimed and added that Imran Khan Niazi would speak to the nation only when the issue of expelling the French ambassador had arisen. "It is against the national interest to spoil relations with the European Union and the US as we have to go to their markets for trade and technology. Imran Khan also ruined relations with the Gulf countries by selling their gifts in the open market," he claimed.
“Imran Khan is running the enemy agenda. He wants to create chaos in the country and spread political and social anarchy,” he said, adding the ex-PM forced the National Assembly deputy speaker to violate the Constitution and made him a hero in meetings. "If the Supreme Court declares your decision unconstitutional, then you turn your guns on them. Imran Khan has been caught in the scrutiny committee, so he is targeting the ECP now. The judiciary was the guardian of the Constitution and if the Constitution is violated, then it can stay up all night,” he contended.
He said Usman Bazdar had been appointed the chief minister of Punjab to take revenge on the people of the province and then local bodies of the provinces were disbanded for two years. "Pervaiz Elahi harassed the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker with his thugs. Imran Niazi wants to destroy the nation with a crying virus after corona but the Rona virus cannot stop the way of Pakistan,” he said.
Ahsan Iqbal claimed the CPEC had also fallen a victim to Imran Niazi's incompetence. “$40bn was to be invested in nine industrial zones but everything was ruined and national sovereignty was compromised. Pakistan means 220 million people and Imran Khan was proving that the state system was in a disarray,” he contended.
Asked about the difference between an intervention and a conspiracy, he said, "When a country comments on human rights in our country, we call it interference and a conspiracy occurs when action is taken against national integrity. If a country attacks the economy, politics or peace indirectly, then there is a conspiracy.”
“The country is short of gas due to which 5,500MW power plants have been shut down,” Ahsan Iqbal said, adding that Qatar wanted to build cheapest gas projects but Imran Niazi had rejected it. "Relief will be available to the public after some time. First, Pakistan’s economy, which is in a critical condition, is being taken to an emergency ward, then we will improve it. Imran Khan lowered the oil prices without resources to save his sinking ship,” he added.
To a question, he said Imran Khan and Arif Alvi were also on bail when they took the oath of their offices. “Read verdicts in the cases of Shehbaz Sharif, Saad Rafique and Shahid Khaqan in which courts said there was no evidence of corruption against them,” he claimed.
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Judge Zeba Chaudhry was, however, not present in the court as she was on leave.