PM Shehbaz assails Imran in NA speech, says 'poison' against institutions must be clamped down

Published May 9, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly on Monday. — Photo courtesy: PMO Twitter
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly on Monday. — Photo courtesy: PMO Twitter

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday criticised PTI Chairman Imran Khan for his comments regarding state institutions and said that action should be taken on them within the ambit of the law and the Constitution.

He made the comments during today's National Assembly session where lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution condemning the campaign against state institutions. According to Radio Pakistan, the resolution was moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi.

Imran, while addressing a public gathering in Abbottabad on Sunday, had narrated the stories of Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq. The former prime minister had said Sirajud Daula was a governor of the Mughal emperor whose commander-in-chief, Mir Jaffar, joined hands with the English to topple the government.

He had said that his government was removed from power through "the Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs of today". PM Shehbaz had criticised the comments yesterday and vowed to take action.

Following on those comments in today's session, the prime minister said Imran's comments were "very dangerous and terrifying". He said Imran had "directly" likened Pakistan's institutions to Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq.

"The poison he spewed about the institution yesterday is a conspiracy against it and Pakistan. If this is not stopped through the law and the Constitution then God forbid this country will become a hideous reflection of Syria and Libya where cities present scenes of graveyards today."

The prime minister claimed that Imran was the "blue-eyed" of the institution and "was fed milk like a child".

"Without fear I want to say that in 75 years, this institution has never supported any government or prime minister like it did Imran Khan.

"It was his misfortune that despite that he learned nothing, did nothing and did not serve the nation. There is no example found of this kind of support and nor will it be found again," Shehbaz said, adding that if even 20 per cent to 30pc of that support was provided to the PPP or PML-N governments then "we would have had this country [taking] off as a plane flies."

The prime minister reiterated that if Imran's comments were not clamped down on then "nothing would be left" and there would be a crisis in the country.

He lambasted the PTI chairman for taking the country in a direction where democracy could be eliminated.

PM Shehbaz also criticised the PTI government on economic fronts such as arranging oil and gas supplies, maintaining power plants, managing the fiscal deficit and taking loans. He said it had "mortgaged future generations" with the number of loans it had taken.

The prime minister also rubbished Imran's claims about the Cablegate affair and said Pakistan's then-ambassador to the US had himself admitted that threatening language was used in the letter but "where was this element of conspiracy conjured from?"

PM Shehbaz said threats were made to Pakistan in the past as well and Pakistan and India regularly issued threats to each other "but is that conspiracy?".

'Security risk'

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, who spoke after PM Shehbaz, called Imran a "security risk" for the country and claimed that the former premier had come into power on an "agenda".

He alleged that the PTI chairman had attacked every institution and component of society.

Referring to the previous PTI government, Asif said it was a tragedy that they used to say "we (the government and the army) are on the same page when it suited them even when constitutional institutions interfered or crossed their limits".

"As long as Pindi supported them (PTI), it was everything for them but today, we are being accused of coming into power through a foreign conspiracy and are being called an imported government. But I can say with full surety that this person (Imran) is bent on destroying all constitutional institutions."

Asif claimed that Imran had used three cards — religion, targeting the United States and using the country's traditional rivalry with India — when he saw his power being threatened.

"He (Imran) wants to wreck and disrupt the process of restoring constitutional supremacy. He sullied religion, politics and decency. He taught people how to hurl expletives. He tore apart all the traditions of this society. And now he wants to go after an institution that is the protector of this country. He has tried several times within the last few months to drive cracks into that same institution," the defence minister thundered.

He further claimed that Imran had tried to damage the country's ideological, territorial and all other defences. Imran, his close associates and ministers earned money through corruption during the previous government's tenure, he alleged.

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