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'You will be asking for an NRO in a few days yourself': Maryam criticises PM's address

Updated June 12, 2019

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PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz addresses a public gathering in Zafarwal on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz addresses a public gathering in Zafarwal on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan for suggesting in a national address a day earlier that opposition leaders wanted a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-like deal from him, saying the premier would be asking for an NRO in a few days himself.

Addressing a public gathering in Zafarwal area of Punjab's Narowal district, where she also visited a teenaged boy suffering from cancer, Maryam said if her father, incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, had asked for an NRO, "a 100 NROs would have fallen into his lap."

"You keep talking about NRO [but] you have no authority to give an NRO," she said, addressing Prime Minister Imran. "You will be going around asking for an NRO in a few days yourself."

She said the talk of an NRO did not suit coming from a person "who is dependent on someone else for everything", without naming anyone.

Prime Minister Imran in a Tuesday night national address had heaped scorn on the opposition parties and announced the establishment of a high-powered commission under him to probe as to how successive governments of the PPP and PML-N took Rs24 trillion loans during the last decade and brought the country to the verge of bankruptcy.

Maryam in her address said the country was rapidly progressing and witnessing development in all areas until the PTI government took over from the PML-N government.

Criticising the budget unveiled by the PTI government on Tuesday, Maryam while referring to Prime Minister Imran said "a person who never earned through his hard work" could never know how a common man survives while making Rs15,000 a month.

She also mocked the premier's statement during his address that the cases against PML-N and PPP leaders were not instituted by his government, but by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). She asked whether it was only NAB's fault, and not Imran's, if the accountability watchdog filed corruption cases against PML-N leaders but did not investigate allegations against the prime minister or his sister, Aleema Khan.

Maryam said NAB was instituting another case against Nawaz for using bulletproof vehicles for his travel as the prime minister, but the bureau did not notice "Imran Khan using the KP government helicopter like a rickshaw while he did not hold any government office".

She said the prime minister, when he had not been "brought into power", used to say that there was one law in Pakistan for the rich and another for the poor. "[In reality], there is one law for the rich and the poor throughout Pakistan and another for the ladla (the beloved)," she alleged.

The PML-N leader claimed that Prime Minister Imran keeps urging the nation to pay taxes, but himself pays a tax of only Rs100,000 "while living in a 300 kanal house".

Apparently referring to the reference filed against Supreme Court's Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Maryam alleged that the premier had sent a reference against a "transparent" judge to the Supreme Judicial Council "because he is habitual of attacking from behind while hiding".

"If you have the courage come forward [and] say, 'I have sent [the reference]', say 'I have set up the cases against Nawaz Sharif'," she said while addressing the premier.

Maryam said the prime minister in his address had announced the formation of a commission to investigate the loans taken by the previous governments in the last decade but questioned why he did not want to go further into the past. "Do you not go back further than 10 years because it was the government of your master [retired Gen Pervez] Musharraf then?" she asked the premier.

She said the loans taken by the PML-N government were spent on development projects and they were paid back with the profits earned.

"The crying and whining will no longer work. [You] will have to answer to the nation now," Maryam said, addressing Prime Minister Imran.