PML-N assails PM for ‘defaming’ country to hide own corruption

Published December 20, 2021
PML-N’s information secretary and MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb addresses a press conference on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N’s information secretary and MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb addresses a press conference on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday castigated Prime Minister Imran Khan for allegedly defaming the country and its political parties only to hide his own corruption at a time when foreign dignitaries were in the capital to attend the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Afghanistan.

Speaking at a news conference, PML-N’s information secretary and MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb asked the prime minister to step down from the office, if he really wanted to provide relief to the masses.

Referring to the prime minister’s interview to Al Jazeera on Friday in which he had once again blamed the past rulers’ corruption for the “country’s destruction”, she said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had already completed more than three years of its term, but it seemed that Imran Khan had been suffering from “Sharif family phobia” as he kept on mentioning the names of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif all the time, instead of highlighting his own achievements.

In his interview, Mr Khan had stated that the developing world was poor because its ruling elite siphoned off money and laundered it into offshore accounts.

Marriyum says it seems Imran doesn’t understand the sensitivity of OIC gathering

He had stated that fighting with the two family-led political parties was like fighting a mafia. He alleged that both the parties (the PML-N and the PPP) used money, state resources as well as the media against him. He said that Pakistan was being ruled by “two corrupt families” who had come into power just for making money.

Ms Aurangzeb questioned the timing of, what she called, the political interview and alleged that it was an attempt to sabotage and damage the country’s image at a time when the foreign ministers of the Islamic countries were arriving in Pakistan for the OIC meeting. She alleged that Mr Khan had committed the same act when the Chinese president was to visit the country in 2014 during the PML-N government’s time.

She said it seemed that the prime minister did not possess the mental capacity to understand the sensitivity and importance of the OIC gathering and how he should present a positive image of the country to the leaders of the Muslim world in Pakistan.

This, she said, was because Imran knew nothing other than persecuting and victimising the opposition and blaming them for his failures. She alleged that Imran was bringing a bad name to Pakistan only to hide his own incompetence.

Ms Aurangzeb, who had served as information minister during the previous PML-N government, said despite keeping Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif in jail for over a year on “fictitious charges”, imprisoning PML-N leaders in death row cells, abusing power and weaponising and misusing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) and every national institution, Imran Khan could not prove a single penny of corruption on the PML-N leadership.

She said the PTI government and its “rented touts” had already been embarrassed by the courts because they had never produced any evidence to back their false cases.

On the contrary, she said, not a single one of the dozens of mega corruption scandals of the present PTI government were even touched upon by NAB, FIA or any national institution.

“Imran Khan and his mafias usurped trillions of rupees in corruption but none of them were held accountable under this government that pledged to be the so-called flag-bearer of anti-corruption,” she said, alleging that Imran Khan was helping these mafias and cartels because they were running his home and everyday expenses.

The PML-N spokesperson said Imran’s former financier Jahangir Tareen used to give him Rs3.5 million every month as claimed by former PTI member retired Justice Wajeehuddin. She stated that even people within the PTI now openly said that Imran did not pay for even a single one of his shoelaces.

“How can a person who is financially compromised and indebted to his financiers, hold anyone accountable? How can such a person be called clean when his existence depends on corruption money of others? How can Imran say no to those who run his house?”

The former minister alleged that Imran Khan was clearly and directly involved in every single one of the corruption acts that robbed the nation. She said the prime minister gave permission to export sugar and flour when he was explicitly told that there was a shortage in the country. Later, she alleged, the prime minister allowed import of sugar and flour at extremely costly rates and even gave needless subsidies to his “mafia friends”.

Calling Imran Khan “the most corrupt leader in the country’s history”, she alleged that he was the only one to facilitate corruption institutionally.

Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2021

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