LAHORE: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday declared that the end of the Imran Khan government is near, urging people to get ready to support a decisive move by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to dislodge the government.
“The Imran Khan government’s days are numbered. Now, this drama of inaugurating the already launched projects of PML-N is not going to save him. Time has come to grab them (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders) by the collar as this nation has not seen a worse time in the 74-year history of the country. This government’s end is near,” Shehbaz said while addressing an event in connection with the death anniversary of Khwaja Mohammad Rafique, the father of PML-N leaders Khwaja Saad and Salman Rafique, here on Thursday.
Charged PML-N workers chanted slogans of ‘Go Niazi Go’ during the speeches of their leaders. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also spoke through video link from London where he has been residing since November 2019 for ‘medical treatment’.
Although the PML-N top leadership has not yet hinted at moving a no-confidence motion against the PTI governments at the Centre or Punjab, the party’s senior vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi recently said the PML-N would not consider the option till it was clear that the Constitution was supreme in the country and the system was running without “interference” as per democratic principles and norms.
Ayaz claims Nawaz is returning ‘very soon’
Shehbaz asked the people to get ready to help the opposition alliance, the PDM, to send the PTI government home for making their lives miserable through unbridled price hike and inflation.
The PDM has announced a ‘decisive’ anti-inflation march on Islamabad on March 23, 2022 to protest against the government’s failures.
The opposition leader, in a rare reference to the military establishment, said the PTI did get votes, but everyone knew it was “pushed” to come to power. “Imran Khan has made the lives of his supporters miserable too,” he lamented.
Taunting the premier, Shehbaz said if Imran Khan was so fond of installing plaques on projects launched by Nawaz Sharif he should have asked the PML-N that could have assigned him the job. “Today, Imran Khan inaugurated the Knowledge Park project here which we initiated in 2014,” he remarked.
Critical of the role of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in “deliberately” ignoring a number of scams like flour, sugar, medicines, BRT, Malamjabba, the opposition leader said this was the reason he openly called it a “NAB-Niazi alliance”. He also lambasted the PTI government for rendering hundreds and thousands of people jobless in the face of its promise to provide 10 million jobs. Besides, he said, this government had not built a single house so far against the promised five million ones.
In his address, former premier Nawaz Sharif claimed that in India Imran Khan was called a “puppet” and in the US it was said that the PM had powers even less than those of a mayor. “This man (Imran) used to say that he will rather commit suicide than go to the [International Monetary Fund]. Now, we are waiting for him to commit suicide,” the PML-N quaid said.
“In the name of a ‘New Pakistan’, inept and incompetent people were imposed on the nation who ruined the country economically. The PTI government destroyed the PIA and brought disrespect to the green passport,” he said and underlined the mega achievements of his tenure.
Speaking on the occasion, former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq claimed that Nawaz Sharif was returning to the country “very soon”. Mr Sadiq, who recently met Nawaz in London, said he was going to London again next month to see the party supremo. “Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan very soon. My smile says something is going to happen,” he exclaimed.
The former speaker questioned if the state could ensure the youth were given their right to franchise. “Soon, Imran Khan will be back atop a container. One day he will have to [become a democrat],” he said, adding that the man who was using the name of the state of Madina was lying to people. “Imran Khan has given nothing to [those in boots] and the people except inflation and unemployment,” he commented.
PML-N MNA Khwaja Asif said that in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local government polls, the PTI did not get any “facilitation”, a reference to the establishment.
Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2021