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PML-N criticises PM Imran for Washington speech

July 22, 2019

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PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, July 22, 2019. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, July 22, 2019. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal on Monday strongly criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for his policies in general and his speech in Washington in particular.

The prime minister, who is in the United States on a three-day visit, said yesterday while addressing a large crowd at a community event at Washington's Capital One Arena, that a 'Naya Pakistan' was being created "in front of people's eyes".

Prime Minister Imran had complained that the problem in Pakistan was that when political leaders are held accountable, "they say that this is political revenge".

"When the courts make decisions, they say 'kyun nikala'?"

"Today, what you see happening in Pakistan is what Naya Pakistan was about: these people had never been asked for answers before," he had said.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad today, flanked by PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Dr Mussadik Malik, the former planning minister said, "Yesterday, our selected prime minister admitted that the opposition leaders were arrested on the government's behest."

"It has revealed once again that the so-called accountability is a vengeful agenda of the government," he said, accusing the government of "using national institutions for political gains".

Iqbal complained that, in the past, retired Gen Pervez Musharraf had used the National Accountability Bureau against politicians, and the same organisation was now being used to safeguard the government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

Iqbal further said that the prime minister has been delivering the same speech since 2013.

"The selected prime minister is proving that he is unqualified," the PML-N leader said. He also ridiculed the prime minister for, "repeating the same speech [without considering] that he is in China or in front of international capitalists".

"Whether he is in Pakistan or Washington, all Imran Khan can think of is Nawaz Sharif."

He added that it would have been good to see if the premier had spoken about the country, but he made a speech that would only have been relevant if it was delivered at Mochi Gate in Lahore.

The PML-N leader also defended the former PML-N government against allegations of corruption. He said that his party had initialed a large number of development projects. He also dubbed the arrest of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as a vindictive measure.

"It is misleading to say that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested for a [dubious] contract with Qatar. He is not accused of financial corruption but of abusing his authority in the establishment of LNG terminals," Iqbal clarified.

Bilawal calls PM Imran 'a ruler, not a leader'

Earlier in the day, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto also took to Twitter to declare that Prime Minister Imran Khan is "a ruler, not a leader".

"Pitty [sic] even when representing our country abroad the selected prime minister can’t get off his container," he said.

The PPP chairman said that the country needs a leader who speaks for all Pakistanis, not just himself.

"If the government does opposition and the opposition does opposition then who’s left to run the country?" he asked.