ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has termed Imran Khan’s address in Abbottabad on Sunday a grand conspiracy against Pakistan, saying that legal action will be taken against him.
In a statement, he said those concocting a narrative against national institutions were the real Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq. He said the state of Pakistan, the Constitution of Pakistan, and respected institutions of Pakistan were challenged by Imran Khan in his address in Abbottabad. He made it clear that legal action would be taken against the former premier.
Shehbaz said what Imran was doing could only be categorised as a conspiracy and not politics, and this conspiracy was not against any political rival but against the country. “Pakistan cannot be surrendered and compromised over one person’s ego, arrogance, and blatant lies. Imran first conspired to destroy economy of the country, and was now planning to trigger a civil war in Pakistan,” he added.
The PM pledged that these nefarious designs of Imran would be crushed at all costs. Imran was this era’s Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq, who wanted Pakistan to face the same fate as Libya and Iraq, he added. “Imran also had a fake certificate of Sadiq, like Mir Sadiq.” He added that Imran was digging holes in the very boat he was riding and biting the hand that fed him. The people of Pakistan, the Constitution, and the institutions of Pakistan were not slaves of Imran Niazi, nor could he hold them hostage. He slammed Imran Khan’s speech and said he would not be allowed to become the Hitler of Pakistan. “Imran had lied to the nation all the time, it’s about time he faces the truth,” he said.
Meanwhile, talking to senior journalists, editors and bureau chiefs of various media outlets in Lahore on Sunday, the PM said President Dr Arif Alvi was not acting as per the Constitution, and the government was deliberating on sending a reference against him.
About the NAB chairman’s term, Shehbaz said it was ending next month and he would consult other parties on the issue. He said presently the coalition government was on one page and all issues were decided after detailed deliberations.
Replying to another question, he said the security of Chinese nationals was being enhanced and the interior ministry was already working on it. He said he would continue his interaction with the media on a regular basis.
Earlier, PM Shehbaz Sharif said former premier Imran Khan was taking a U-turn on his previous claims of a foreign conspiracy to dislodge his government by saying that he knew about the ‘conspiracy’ since July 2021. In a meeting with beat reporters here, he said in the both meetings of the National Security Council (NSC), it was clearly stated that there was no foreign conspiracy, but Imran recently said he knew about the conspiracy since July. He said the government had decided to form an inquiry commission no matter Imran Khan agreed to it or not. The current government change had come legally and constitutionally, not through a conspiracy, he added.
To a question, the PM said he would remain thankful to US President Joe Biden no matter he called him or not. “The USA is a superpower and we have relations with it since the formation of the country, and we will continue to maintain these relations on the basis of mutual respect,” he said, while answering a question about the anti-US narrative of Imran Khan.
Shehbaz said the challenges Pakistan was facing now had never been seen before, as the country would face the biggest budget deficit of its history. He said the previous PTI government reduced the petrol prices without consulting the international lenders, which was a violation of the IMF agreement. There was an abundance of electricity in the country during the previous PMLN government, but a power crisis arose due to inefficiency of the PTI government. He said the power plants were not repaired in the winter according to agreements. He said during Imran Khan’s government, fertilisers became more expensive and were sold in black. Also, the government would have to import more than three million tons of wheat due to faulty policies of the PTI government, he added.
The PM said the current government would complete its constitutional term, and the next elections would only be held after electoral reforms. He said his government would invite the PTI for electoral reforms. “Whether they come or not and the appointment of the army chief would be done keeping in view the seniority on merit.”
“The army is the institution of 22 crore people, which protects the borders. We should keep the army away from politics,” he added.
To another question, Shehbaz Sharif said Nawaz Sharif was ill, and his leader’s illness should not be made a subject of politics.
To yet another question, he said the government would welcome the PTI’s long march, but nobody would be allowed to take the law into their hands. Rana Sanaullah had already devised his strategy to deal with the long march, Shehbaz added.
Shehbaz Sharif said China had shelved CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor] but the present government was trying its best to revive it besides meeting the friendly countries which were angry due to Imran Khan.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for Law Azam Tarar and Azma Bokhari were also present.
About the ongoing defamation campaigns on the social media, Shehbaz said there was no restriction on expression of speech, but anything that promoted anarchy would be dealt with according to the law. He said his government had a mandate till August 2023, but the decision on when to hold elections would be taken in consultation with the coalition parties. To another question, he said those who used to say about him that he was just an administrator had now seen his politics.
The PM thanked all reporters, especially the PMLN beat reporters and court reporters, for supporting him. He said they stood with him in tough times, guided him and encouraged him. He said they wrote and spoke the truth during the coverage of his cases.The court reporters also thanked him for inviting them for the meeting, because usually they were not called in for such events.
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