Imran 'playing' with Pakistan's interests to keep his politics alive, says Ahsan Iqbal

Published April 24, 2022
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday accused former prime minister Imran Khan of "playing with Pakistan's interests" to keep his "failed politics" alive.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, the minister said the National Security Committee (NSC) twice dismissed the possibility of any foreign conspiracy, however, "Imran Niazi is playing with national interests to keep his politics alive."

"If Pakistan wants to be a strong country, we need to have a strong economy," he said. "That can only happen when we align ourselves with the global economy."

Iqbal's media talk comes as the PTI chairman continues to insist he was ousted as a result of a foreign-backed conspiracy.

In his presser, Iqbal alleged that when the PTI was in power, it had hampered the CPEC's progress and soured ties with the European Union, the United States and even brotherly Muslim countries, risking the isolation of the country.

He said he does not want Pakistan to turn into Cuba or North Korea. "We have to set Pakistan on the path of [development, like] Malaysia, Turkey, China and South Korea."

"When a no-confidence move was brought against him, he encouraged the deputy speaker (Qasim Suri) to violate the constitution and then portrayed him as a hero," the minister said, referring to Imran. "Such people are no heroes, they're criminals. And there will be action against them," Iqbal asserted.

The minister defended the Supreme Court for its order that saw Imran ousted through a parliament vote after his move to dissolve the National Assembly was reversed by the top court.

"The apex court fulfilled its duty and no one has the right to point fingers at the institution," he said.

The PML-N leader also accused the PTI of trying to pressurise the Election Commission of Pakistan in an alleged attempt to influence the foreign funding case. Just a day earlier, Imran called on Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja to resign, accusing him of bias. Raja subsequently said there was no valid reason to do so and would remain in his position in the best interests of the country.

Iqbal, in his presser, termed the frequent mentions of "conspiracy" by the ex-PM the "rona-virus", vowing the country would move forward and the coalition government would fix all issues facing the country.

Iqbal also alleged that Imran sold Toshakhana gifts abroad, thus bringing disrepute to Pakistan. He said the masses would be given relief in "some time", adding the first priority of the government was to overhaul the economy.

He rejected notions that the government was worried with Imran's expected march to Islamabad, saying the ousted premier had been doing all of that before and it would likely continue in the future as well.

The minister vowed there would be no "false cases" against Imran and only "genuine cases" would be lodged. "Evidence will guide all our actions," he said.

Opinion

The sixth wave

The sixth wave

PCR testing has drastically gone down in Pakistan and our disease surveillance system needs much more strengthening.

Editorial

Udaipur killing
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Udaipur killing

The crime committed in Udaipur did not happen in a vacuum.
Unacceptable demand
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Unacceptable demand

Negotiating with extremists is tricky; no peace treaty with them has lasted beyond a few months.
Tough times ahead
01 Jul, 2022

Tough times ahead

THE finance ministry’s projection of 15pc inflation, much higher than the targeted rate of 11.5pc, during the new...
More ‘prior actions’
Updated 30 Jun, 2022

More ‘prior actions’

It is crucial that the IMF reconsiders its stance and releases the funds at the earliest to calm uneasy markets.
Growing power crisis
30 Jun, 2022

Growing power crisis

THE country’s escalating power crisis risks exacerbating the law-and-order situation as people take to the streets...
Attack on polio team
30 Jun, 2022

Attack on polio team

THE threat of deadly violence never seems to diminish for health workers and police officials involved in...