ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday said it was due to a divide created by PTI Chairman Imran Khan not only inside Pakistan but also among the 10 million overseas Pakistanis that a member of the Canadian Parliament had maligned Pakistan, its institutions and leaders.
“A member of Canadian Parliament abused Pakistan, its institutions and leaders due to a divide created by Imran Khan in Pakistan and among the overseas Pakistanis,” said Khawaja Asif while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly. He categorically said that lobbies, at the behest of Imran Khan, were active in Canada, the USA, the UK and other countries. “Imran Khan has no respect for the country and lobbies in these countries at his behest are verbally attacking Pakistan, institutions and the chief of the army staff,” he regretted.
He said that Imran Khan was the only leader in the 75-year history of Pakistan whose leaders were bashing their opponents on the streets of London, Montreal, the UAE and other countries and did not even spare the premises of Masjid-e-Nabvi (SAW).
He reiterated that a negative impression of Pakistan was being created like what the Canadian parliamentarian did while standing on the floor of his Parliament. “I call upon the government of Canada to take notice of the irresponsible statement of its parliamentarian against Pakistan and its institutions,” he said.
Khawaja Asif said the member of the Canadian Parliament, during the scheduled visit of Pakistan’s army chief, criticised Pakistan, its people, institutions and said expenditures of 50,000 dollars on the tour were a wastage of money. He said that the Canadian parliamentarian not only talked against Pakistan in reference to human rights but also spoke about what he said foreign intervention or conspiracy which, according to him, resulted in Imran Khan’s ouster. “I believe this is the voice of a single parliamentarian and not the view of their whole Parliament but I will call upon the government of Canada to take notice of his speech,” he said.
Khawaja Asif said he wanted to put the record of Canada and other western countries straight with regard to human rights. “The Canadian parliamentarian felt the pain of human rights in Pakistan but he and western countries could not see what is happening with Muslims in Indian Occupied Kashmir, Palestine, inside India and the Muslim population of Rohingya,” he said. "It has become a brand in the western civilisation that they exercise a selected sense of justice." The defence minister said what the Canadian parliamentarian provoked him to say was that Canada itself was leading among the G-7 countries when it comes to attacks on Muslims due to this phobia.
On Imran Khan, the defence minister said he left no legacy except hatred which he spread in the society and time would tell how he took the country decades back. Khawaja Asif, without naming Imran Khan, said that he was toppled constitutionally and the superior judiciary also endorsed the same. “Today also, majority of parliamentarians are sitting in the House and those in minority are not present here,” he said.
Khawaja Asif recalled that Pakistan was made a tool of Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan and the same happened when Pakistan fought the US war after 9/11. “Rather it was a war of those countries of the western world where Islamophobia is prevailing but the conscience of nobody in Canada or any other western country has awakened when it comes to violation of human rights of Muslims in the world,” he said.
Khawaja Asif said that the last regime of PTI and his top leader not only divided the Pakistanis inside the country but it also created divisions and hatred among the overseas Pakistanis. “Over nine million overseas Pakistanis, half of them in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are our assets as they do hard work and send remittances to their country,” he said.
“We have many political differences but our personal relations never deteriorated but this man created a division and hatred in the society,” he said.
Khawaja Asif said Imran Khan looted the country with both hands and cases against him were coming forth and used all executive institutions for victimisation of his opponents.
At the same time, the minister said the coalition government did not indulge in victimisation of opponents in the last two to three months, saying that they would not register fake cases against anyone unless anybody acts in violation of the Constitution and law. He pointed out that Imran Khan participates in hearing through video links in cases which his government got registered against its opponents whereas the sitting prime minister and chief minister themselves appear before courts in person. “Imran Khan did not come out of KP province till he was granted bail before arrest,” he said. He said that Imran Khan himself committed record human rights violations in less than four years and his victims were also sitting in this House. Khawaja Asif called upon the overseas Pakistanis who hold dual nationality that they should not work against the interests of their country of origin and refrain from hurting its prestige. “Do not harm your country for the sake of politics,” he said.
PPP parliamentarian Ms Shazia Mari also strongly condemned the Canadian parliamentarian for speaking against Pakistan's parliamentary and democratic system and military institution. "Pakistan is a democratic, sovereign and nuclear state," she maintained. She told Imran Khan that if any party loses majority in the National Assembly, then it should sit on the opposition benches.
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Soon after the blast, the police reached the site and cordoned off the area.