LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has announced reinforcing party’s legal and peaceful movement – this time to ensure that the “Mughal-i-Azam (a reference to the prime minister) should be tried in court like any ordinary citizen.”
Asking party’s youth and die-hard workers to get ready, he made it clear that the PTI would not accept that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif escape accountability in the wake of Panama Papers. “This is again a defining moment for Pakistan to break shackles and ensure that justice should prevail leading to prosperity for everyone in the country,” he said while addressing doctors, teachers and lawyers at a PTI Professional Forum gathering at a local hotel on Saturday.
The event was organised by Dr Yasmin Rashid who has filed reference against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for concealing his assets before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) under Article 62 and 63.
Imran urges workers to cash in on Panama issue
Mr Khan urged the masses to not let the Panama Leaks issue die out, otherwise the incumbent rulers, who have stashed billions of rupees abroad, would continue using the looted money to manoeuvre and win elections. He said this vicious circle would keep the masses poor and the rulers filthy rich. “I am not stepping up the movement to become prime minister but to ensure that every citizen should be dispensed justice which will eventually bring prosperity in the country,” he asserted.
Deriding Nawaz Sharif’s cronies for not allowing to finalise the Terms of Reference (TOR) for investigation into Panama Papers allegations, he said the government knew that any fair investigation would hold Nawaz Sharif guilty. He said the government had created deadlock on TOR and wanted to finalise tailor-made terms to let Mr Sharif off the hook.
Referring that the West in its movement for democracy had signed Magna Carta that brought the King under the law of the land, he said rule of law would never prevail in Pakistan, if the prime minister would not be brought under the law.
The PTI chairman said Nawaz Sharif had lost his moral authority to stay in his office because he lied in Parliament as well as before the ECP about his assets, tax evasion, corruption and money laundering.
Asking the prime minister again to resign, Mr Khan said he had also told the chief of army staff during 126-day sit-in in Islamabad that no justice could be dispensed in the presence of Nawaz Sharif in the PM office.
Stating that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) could not control corruption in the next 100 years, Mr Khan asserted that the rulers’ businesses, corruption and free and fair elections were inter-connected. He said 13 other corruption cases against Nawaz Sharif were pending with the NAB but there was complete inaction.
Mr Khan lamented that all institutions in the country had collapsed owing to corruption at top levels and added that the corruption had even stopped the overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan leading to suspension of growth that caused joblessness and price-hike.
In the wake of flight of capital, he said, the government was taking heavy loans from the IMF and fleecing poor masses by imposing almost 85pc indirect taxes.
Criticising Defence Minister Khwaja Asif for using foul language against PTI’s Shirin Mazari in the National Assembly, the PTI chairman said the low calibre of parliamentarians was dumbing down society’s intellect.
Earlier, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi explained to the audience about the opposition parties’ efforts in finalizing TOR to investigate Panama Papers leaks and asserted that the government representatives’ all efforts aimed at using delaying tactics so that the media and masses’ focus should shift to some new happenings.
Mr Qureshi suggested it’s high time the PTI adopted a two-pronged strategy – legal and political agitation. He said now is the time that Pakistan’s political leadership should convene and look for options to go ahead to save Pakistan.
Responding to Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed’s comment that disqualified people were submitting papers for Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, Dr Yasmin Rashid asked the minister whether they would be required having offshore companies and involvement in corruption to become eligible to file papers.
Andleeb Abbas gave a presentation on “The secret of dirty money” on Panama Leaks issue.
Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2016