ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) leaders sharply reacted to statements of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his party leader Shahbaz Gill against the Pakistan Army, saying the nation was now aware of their anti-state agenda.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that PTI Chairperson Imran Khan could only fool himself, not the nation. “During the last four months, the entire nation witnessed what kind of remarks Imran Niazi made about the leadership of Pakistan armed forces,” the premier said in a tweet.
The PTI’s social media trolls ran trends packed with hatred against the armed forces, he said and questioned whether the bereaved families of Shuhada would forget all that.
Separately, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Wednesday both Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi tasked the PTI social media teams to troll the army top brass and its martyrs for diverting the public attention away from its foreign (prohibited) funding, which had been proved after eight years.
“PTI trolled army’s martyrs. Bushra Bibi would have asked ‘Arslan Beta (son)’ to run a malicious campaign on ‘Shuhada’ (martyrs) when the party’s foreign funding came under discussion on public platforms,” the minister alleged while addressing a news conference here, adding that the directives directly came from Bani Gala.
Referring to the PTI’s leader Shehbaz Gill’s statement in the media, she said Imran Khan was playing a “dangerous game” as call for mutiny in the army’s rank and file was a red line, which nobody would be allowed to cross at any cost. The minister said Imran Khan’s spokesman and chief of staff had started admitting that a script of his interview was given by the PTI chief. “He (Gill) will become an approver in this (sedition) case,” she added.
She said those who trolled the army officers and its martyrs had also got caught and started admitting that the campaign was run on the directives of PTI leadership.
The joint investigation team probing a “malicious campaign” against the army martyrs on the social media would soon bring facts before the public to prove who was the architect of this entire saga, she added. “Enough is enough,” she said while announcing zero tolerance against those who would try to incite division within the state institution, and make efforts to spread chaos and anarchy in the country.
She also played some clips of Imran Khan’s interviews with various local and international media channels in which he allegedly spewed venom against the state institutions, to assert that the PTI’s chief was a “fascist person” who was “hell bent upon destroying the country in exchange of the funding received by his party from foreign nationals and firms”.
“These are a few statements of Imran Khan, rest is the history,” she said, adding the current campaign against the army martyrs reflected his fascism and the “dirty politics” which was entirely based on hatred, deception, lies and anarchy.
Marriyum said Imran Khan was reaping what he had sown in the politics i.e. hatred and animosity. “No patriot can even think of trolling the Pakistan Army soldiers and officers who sacrificed their lives while carrying out rescue and relief activities in the flood-hit areas,” she remarked.
She regretted that Imran Khan could use the KPK’s government helicopter for creating chaos and anarchy in the country, but not to visit the flood-affected areas and people in Balochistan and south Punjab on the instructions of his wife who barred him from attending a funeral or a place where deaths occurred.
The minister lashed out at Imran Khan for claiming that an “illusionary” media cell of PMLN in collaboration with the government was involved in running a campaign against the state institutions. She said Imran Khan got scared by the reaction that came from the families of the army martyrs and his body language suggested that he was frightened by the decision in the prohibited funding case by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Marriyum said it had been proved that Imran Khan did receive prohibited funding and spent even donations for the political and personal purposes. Imran Khan tried to sabotage democracy, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the national economy in exchange for the foreign funding, she added.
“The party of a foreign agent has been declared a ‘foreign-aided party’ under the Political Party Ordinance, 2002 and the Election Act, 2017,” she remarked. The minister said Imran Khan was trying to mislead the nation by consistently telling lies over a case that was investigated by the ECP for eight years.
Marriyum said Imran Khan blamed others for corruption whenever his robbery came to the fore. The PTI received funds from Wootton Cricket Limited, Bristol engineering services, Eplanet Trustees and Romita Shetty (an Indian businesswoman) from 2013, she said, adding the companies set up in the United States included 34 foreign nationals.
She said Imran Khan was now afraid that his party would be banned, but it was him who destroyed the party and it was high time for the workers to ask him as to why he disgraced the PTI and himself by receiving the foreign funding.
The minister said the nation including youth and overseas Pakistanis would be informed as to where these foreign funds were spent by Imran Khan.
Ms Aurangzeb said Imran Khan had no comparison with Nawaz Sharif who became prime minister thrice but never compromised over the Constitution.
From day one, constitutional supremacy was the mainstay of PMLN and Nawaz Sharif’s ideology. Despite his illegal ouster from power, Nawaz Sharif did not give a call for mutiny and division within the state institutions. He only served the country with dedication and gave the country the motorways, and CPEC projects, and made the country load-shedding free.
On the contrary, Imran Khan tried to disintegrate the country by attacking the federating units, selling Kashmir and ruining the economy.
Youth were rendered jobless, poverty increased massively and, above all severe restrictions were imposed on the media, she added.
She said Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were always on the forefront to pay tribute to the martyrs of Army who sacrificed their lives for protecting the borders.
The minister advised youth not to become part of the PTI’s chief grand conspiracy against the country and refrain from participating in the social media campaign against the state institutions.
To a question, she said Imran Khan sold gifts from Toshakhana by revising the policy to benefit himself and his courtiers. He violated the law in the Toshakhana issue and would be held accountable in this regard.
Separately, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir said on Wednesday the government would not allow PTI Chairman Imran Khan to use the ‘treason’ card.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he took a dig at Imran Khan and said that the PTI chairman had spread hatred in the field of politics. “It is not right to criticise the state institutions as they are performing their professional responsibilities.”
Dastgir claimed that the PTI chairman had incited the public to engage in civil disobedience and also tried to play his part in spoiling relations with friendly countries. He said the smear campaign was started after the helicopter crash incident. He said that there was a dire need to save the country from the mischief of the former prime minister. There is a difference between freedom of expression and targeting the state institutions, he added.
Dastgir said that there would be a huge reduction in inflation in the coming days. He said that the May fuel price adjustment had been included in the July bills. If necessary, the bill payment date would be extended, said the federal minister. He also said the situation would improve in August and September as fuel prices have come down in July and rebasing of power tariffs had been okayed.
“We have to make people believe that tomorrow will be better than today,” Khurram said. He further said that everyone should work together for the stability of democracy.
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