KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Tuesday came up with a new allegation that the chief of the Intelligence Bureau had visited Lon­don to offer “protocol” to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

In a series of tweets, the PTI chief — who neither shared details of his latest allegation nor divulged his source of information — demanded that the IB chief resign immediately for his recent “four-day” visit to London.

“IB head must resign immediately. What was he doing visiting a disqualified PM in London over 4 days at taxpayer expense?” he said in his first of the many tweets. “IB head is an official of the State paid for by taxpayers. His duty is to the state not to the Sharif family,” read another one.

PTI chief accuses the spy agency of ‘blackmailing’ MNAs

“The official protocol given to a disgraced, disqualified PM, also accused of tax evasion, forgery, money laundering etc, is shameful,” he tweeted.

Mr Khan’s tweets came a day after a current affairs programme on ARY News blamed Mr Sharif for activating the IB against 37 parliamentarians to check their record for their alleged links with some sectarian and banned outfits “only because they were critical against the PML-N government policies”.

In his tweets, the PTI chief also referred to the news channel’s claims while attaching a 17-second video clip with his one of the tweets. He said: “Equally alarming is the IB’s role in abetting NS [Nawaz Sharif] by creating grounds for blackmailing his MNAs into falling in line.”

Mr Khan, relying on his own claims, called the IB chief’s move breaking defined laws that could destroy the institution.

“This is how state institutions are destroyed by a mafia breaking all laws and democratic norms,” read one more tweet. “[It] Sends wrong message to society: that the powerful can break laws with impunity. Clearly this is mafia rule not democracy.”

Mr Khan’s arch-rival, Mr Sharif, returned to Pakistan from London on Monday putting to rest all speculation by political opponents. He had left for the UK about a month ago to see his wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing cancer treatment. All other members of his family, including daughter Maryam and sons Hussain and Hassan, are in London and none of them accompanied the former prime minister on his return.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also visited Mr Sharif in London twice before and after returning from New York.

IB denies allegation

The IB denied that it had made any list of politicians having links to certain banned organisations. It also refuted the allegations made in a television programme in this regard.

A handout issued on Tuesday evening said that the government took serious notice of the said television programme.

“The IB has issued a formal denial of any such report or list.’’

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regula­tory Authority was asked to take strict action against “apparently mala fide reporting’’, it concluded.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2017