Umar berates Nawaz for vilifying army, institutions

Published October 19, 2020
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi pictured during a press conference on Sunday.—APP
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi pictured during a press conference on Sunday.—APP

KARACHI: Lashing out at PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif for speaking against state institutions at the Gujranwala rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has accused the former prime minister of “selling the Indian narrative” by speaking against security establishment.

Speaking at a press conference here on Sunday, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar of the PTI said Mr Sharif was heaping scorn on state institutions after failing to get an NRO for him and his daughter Maryam.

“Mian sahab, this narrative of India you are trying to sell will not be sold anywhere...your time to raise question has gone and now it’s time for you to answer,” he said, adding that Mr Sharif had a problem with state institutions and not with an individual. “His speeches are not for civil supremacy or for the sake of democracy but for saving their looted wealth.”

MQM, PSP express concern over former PM’s remarks at Gujranwala rally

The minister said Nawaz Sharif was a convicted criminal who was dismissed from the office of prime minister by the apex court.

Accompanied by Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi, he said the PML-N supremo had escaped the country and was hiding in London. He asked Mr Sharif why he was not speaking against India and why did he invite “murderer of Muslims Modi” to his home.

Mr Umar said Mr Sharif had been criticising state institutions so openly, but he never talked about human rights violations in India or against Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. He recalled that the former prime minister built a narrative of mujhay kiuon nikala against the superior judiciary. If Mr Sharif had problems with the army chief then why he instructed his party lawmakers to vote in favour of his extension, he asked.

The minister said Mr Sharif had repeatedly sent his emissary to meet the army chief and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence a couple of weeks ago. “You [Mr Sharif] sent him to beg for an NRO for yourself and your daughter,” he alleged.

He asked the opposition to not drag state institutions into political issues. He welcomed the opposition parties in Karachi but said the PDM had nothing to do with democracy.

Mr Umar also slammed the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party for what he alleged violating the standard operating procedures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread by organising a public meeting at Bagh-i-Jinnah. He said the PTI had won the 2018 general elections in Karachi and the 11 parties which were holding a rally in Karachi could not stand against his party.

Speaking on the occasion, Ali Zaidi said: “Two children are trying to save the looted money of their parents, while Maulana Fazlur Rehman is trying to save his.”

He said that what Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder Altaf Hussain did in Karachi, former president Asif Zardari was doing the same in interior of Sindh.

Faisal Vawda

Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda accused the PML-N leadership of working on the Indian agenda. Speaking separately at a press conference here, he said it would not be tolerated at any cost and such corrupt people would be sent to jail where no special facilities would be provided to them.

He said the PPP was not against any institution and, therefore, it was not allowing former premier Sharif to make a speech at the PDM’s second rally.

MQM

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, a PTI coalition partner, expressed concern over the statement of former PM Nawaz Sharif against “defence institutions”.

In a statement issued here, an MQM-P spokesperson said that defence institutions had been sacrificing their lives for the sake of Pakistan’s solidarity and integrity and it was not in the interest of the country to put their credibility at stake.

He expressed the hope that the PML-N supremo would reconsider his narrative and said that political parties and their top leadership should refrain from giving irresponsible statements.

PSP

Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal rejected what he called the incendiary speech of Nawaz Sharif against the armed forces and defence institutions. “The narrative of Nawaz Sharif only serves anti-state elements. The morale of the armed forces and institutions may be affected due to his narrative,” he said in a statement.

He said Mr Sharif’s statement had seriously damaged Pakistan internationally.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2020

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