PTI govt must quit over motorway incident: PML-N

Updated 14 Sep 2020

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“[Punjab Chief Minister] Usman Buzdar is a novice as [Prime Minister] Imran Khan. They lack the ability to take the culprit to task and give exemplary punishment,”  Iqbal said. — DawnNewsTV/File
“[Punjab Chief Minister] Usman Buzdar is a novice as [Prime Minister] Imran Khan. They lack the ability to take the culprit to task and give exemplary punishment,” Iqbal said. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Holding the “incapable” Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government responsible for the motorway gang-rape, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday called for the rulers to step down.

The PML-N also demanded the shifting of the party’s provincial leader Hamza Shahbaz, who is suffering from coronavirus, from jail to some hospital for better treatment.

“The rulers must go home on the issue of gang-rape, while the Lahore CCPO (capital city police officer) should be replaced for his unbecoming remarks about the rape victim,” PML-N general secretary Ahsan Iqbal said at a press conference. Information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb was also present.

“[Punjab Chief Minister] Usman Buzdar is a novice as [Prime Minister] Imran Khan. They lack the ability to take the culprit to task and give exemplary punishment,” Mr Iqbal said, adding that they should understand that they’re incapable of running the country.

Demands shifting of Covid patient Hamza from jail to hospital

Referring to the antiterrorism operation launched during the PML-N tenure in the wake of Army Public School carnage, he said the PML-N government had confronted terrorists through administrative and legal means, while the incumbent regime could not nab just one accused in the gang-rape case and instead leaked sensitive information to the media cautioning the accused to flee before the police raid.

The PML-N leader also gave credit to his party’s last government for setting up the forensic lab that helped identify the accused through DNA test. He said the motorway incident was a question mark on the justice system and the government, which was duty bound to ensure safety of the life and property of its citizens.

He regretted that the Lahore CCPO blamed the rape victim for the incident by raising questions about her travel time, etc, while nowhere in the world crime victims were ridiculed. Demanding removal of the CCPO, he said the entire country was condemning the police officer’s statement, except the prime minister, who didn’t even condemn the rape incident.

The PML-N leader said the whole country, particularly Punjab, had been plunged into an administrative anarchy only because it had voted his party to power from 2013 to 2018.

The PML-N has also demanded the shifting of Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz, who has tested positive for coronavirus, from prison to hospital. In a letter to the additional chief secretary, party’s provincial deputy secretary Ata Tarar asked for transfer of Hamza Shahbaz from jail to Ittefaq Hospital.

Hamza Shahbaz is currently lodged in Kot Lakhpat jail undergoing trial in a money laundering case instituted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He had been showing symptoms of the disease for the past one week and tested positive on Sept 12, says the letter, arguing that his medical history is available with Ittefaq Hospital so he may be shifted there for better treatment by his physician Dr Rizwan Akhtar.

His ailment was made public by his father and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif through a tweet and later Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed the report.

Shahbaz Sharif, who is also president of the PML-N and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, requested the people to pray for Hamza’s recovery, saying his son had earlier faced NAB cases during the Musharraf regime and is now confronting political vendetta through “NAB-Niazi nexus”.

Prison authorities, on the other hand, said they had not yet received a formal report of Hamza’s medical test, while more tests would be conducted on Sunday. They said the under-trial prisoner was improving, so they were not shifting him from his prison cell to any hospital.

Maryam Nawaz has posted her cousin Hamza’s picture as her new profile picture on her Twitter account. In a tweet, she raised doubts about the food provided to former prime minister and her father Nawaz Sharif while in NAB custody, and also wondered how a person confined to his solitary cell in prison contracted coronavirus.

“It’s yet to be ascertained that what food was given to Nawaz Sharif by suspending [the provision of] his home-made meals while under NAB custody that intensified his ailment. His platelets count dropped to a dangerous level and he suffered a heart attack. There’s also a question: how did a lone prisoner confined to his prison cell contract coronavirus?”

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2020