Tuesday August 16, 2022

Rivals pour scorn on Imran’s controversial remarks

Maryam Nawaz said the entire nation had taken notice of his words and was angered by them

By News Desk & Our Correspondent
June 03, 2022
From Left: PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and PM Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File
From Left: PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and PM Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Almost all the political parties Thursday strongly reacted to former premier Imran Khan’s statement he issued on Wednesday in a private channel interview, saying that the country would split into three parts and the army would face destruction if the establishment did not take the right decisions.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said the entire nation had taken notice of his words and was angered by them. "Whoever said such a thing about the country, his party would break into 300 pieces." She asked him who influenced him to talk about that. "Whose ideology is it?" She appealed to the government to "form a medical board comprising psychologists and mental health experts to examine Imran's mental state.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif warned Imran Khan not to cross limits by giving statements about the split of the country. “Do your politics, but don’t dare to cross limits and talk about division of Pakistan,” he said in a tweet from Turkey, where he is on a three-day official visit.

PM Shehbaz said that as he was making accords with Turkey aimed at bringing prosperity to Pakistan, the PTI chief was issuing threats against Pakistan. “While I am in Turkey inking agreements, Imran Niazi is making naked threats against the country,” he said in the tweet.

The prime minister said the interviews and statements of Imran Khan showed that he was not suitable for a public office. “If at all any proof was needed that Niazi is unfit for public office, his latest interview suffices,” he said.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Thursday strongly condemned Imran Khan’s anti-Pakistan tirade, saying it was hate speech against the Constitution and the country, not freedom of expression.

In a statement, she said that talking about division of the country was, in fact, projecting the enemy’s agenda. She said only an enemy could announce an attack on the federation, speak of destruction of institutions and dismantling of the nuclear programme. Marriyum said Imran’s speeches in this situation should not be broadcast on television channels.

Former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani condemned the remarks of Imran Khan in an interview and said he seemed to be the bagpiper of the international conspiracy against Pakistan which targets its territorial boundaries, the army and the nuclear assets.

“The interview invites the establishment to interfere in politics in his support, because if they don’t, the state, its institutions and defence systems will collapse, because he is bigger than Pakistan,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Rabbani said Parliament would have to stand like Stalingrad to break the siege against the state, its institutions, the democratic system and the Constitution 1973. “It must rise because it represents the will of the people and nip fascism in the bud,” he said.

The PPP leaders demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justice Peshawar High Court to take suo motu notice of Imran Khan's statement against national integrity. “If a statement like Imran Khan had been made by a Sindhi and Baloch leader, the case would have been registered by now,” said Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri while addressing a press conference along with Secretary Information PPP Faisal Karim Kundi and senior party leader Nadeem Afzal Chan on Thursday.

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Shazia Marri while criticizing the recent statements of the former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and said Imran Khan has challenged Pakistan's existence by talking against the nuclear program of the country and Imran Khan's mental condition has become a threat for the country. “We will discuss the recent statements of Imran Khan in upcoming sessions of National Assembly and in the federal cabinet meeting,” she said.

Ms Marri said that the former Prime Minister had no answer to the corruption scandals like Peshawar BRT, Malam Jabba, Rawalpindi Ring Road, petroleum sector, medicine, Farah Gogi etc in which his government was involved.

PPP’s Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi said the entire nation was angry over the recent statements of Imran Khan regarding spilt of Pakistan and dismantling of nuclear programme.

PPP leader Nadeem Afzal Chan said that after his ouster from power, Imran Khan has been talking against the country's integrity which is highly condemnable, while we didn't talk against the institutions even, at the time of the execution of P0PP founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto we didn't say anything about the institutions.

Separately, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) spokesperson Hafiz Hamadullah said on Thursday that Imran Niazi was the Bal Thakare of Pakistan and PTI was the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] of the country. He said that Imran Niazi, in the lust for power, was talking of breaking of Pakistan and destruction of Pak Army. He said his statement proved that he was an agent the enemies of the country.

Imran Khan came under fire from the treasury benches in the Senate on Thursday over his statement. PTI legislators made desperate attempts to defend their leader. Leader of the House and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar raised the issue in the House at the very outset of the proceedings and said that the talk of fragmentation and denuclearisation of Pakistan was unbecoming of a person who had held the highest democratic office. “This could be nothing but a conspiracy against Pakistan. It seems he has lost mental balance after having been ousted constitutionally,” he remarked.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem regretted that the treasury was trying to distort Imran Khan’s remarks and claimed Imran being a visionary leader had only warned against the threats, confronting Pakistan. He added a stable economy and independent foreign policy were essential prerequisites to strengthen institutions and the country, but alleged the government had compromised on both of them.

Yusuf Raza Gilan of the PPP remarked while referring to Imran’s statement, “I have never heard of this in my life, even though when the East and West Pakistan were together, then President Ayub Khan disqualified all leaders with one stroke if pen, but no one (leader) spoke against the country”.

Senator Asif Kirmani of PMLN urged institutions including Supreme Court to take notice of Imran’s statements and said Pakistan could not be run on the whims of an individual. Senator Bahramand Tangi of PPP vehemently criticised Imran Khan and said Imran should be punished for his ‘treachery’.

JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad asserted it was totally unacceptable to say that the country could be split into three parts, the army would be destroyed and nuclear assets taken away, saying if the judiciary gives verdict in his favour, it is fine otherwise, statements are issued against it.

Rubina Khalid of PPP wondered how and why would a former prime minister say that if he was not in power, then it would be better to drop nuclear bomb on Pakistan and a sitting KP chief ninister reported as saying that he would attack the federation.

National Party's Senator Tahir Bizenjo said that narrative of PTI Chairman Imran Khan was not considerable as he thought of himself as the only person fit for the executive authority. He said that Imran Khan was mentally tense after failure of long march, and suggested PTI to return to National Assembly and play its role for better economy of the country.

PMLN Senator Irfan Siddiqui remarked, “I understand what Khan sahib is going through, but a lot has happened in the past. There has been a very popular leader hanged here, at that time no one said that the army will be destroyed, Pakistan will be broken, but the journey of politics with patience continued and when that government ended, Bhutto's daughter became the Prime Minister”.

Senator Irfan said, “I know that the Prime Ministers were dragged out of the House of Prime Minister here, but Imran Khan's honour did not come to an end. He comfortably went through a constitutional path and went to Bani Gala in a helicopter”.

Senator Rana Maqbool of PMLN said that Imran Khan was pursuing his vested interests. Senator Hidayatullah Khan of Awami National Party said that leaders and founders of ANP always supported the policies for a stronger Pakistan. He said that ANP was among those parties who made efforts for unanimous Constitution for Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1973. Senator Moula Bux Chandio of PPP said that his party always struggled, its workers, as well as leaders, sacrificed their lives for a sovereign Pakistan.