ISLAMABAD: Despite the army’s frequent advice to parties to refrain from ‘dragging’ it into politics, PTI’s firebrand leader Shireen Mazari came up with a renewed attempt on Friday to question the role of ‘neutrals’ in bringing down the government last month, claiming “now everyone knows the neutrals were not actually neutral”.

How one could stay ‘neutral’ when the country was facing ‘destruction’, she asked, wondering whether the ‘neutrals’ wanted Pakistan to recognise Israel. “Do they want a foreign policy in which there is no freedom?”

Addressing a press conference, ex-minister Mazari alleged that one minority dissident lawmaker of her party was living in a “rest house belonging to neutrals”, while the PTI allies approached Sindh House and opposition leaders after a cipher was received from former Pakistani ambassador to the United States on March 7 regarding “threats to PTI government”.

Ms Mazari strongly criticised the US and “those who supported it” in alleged toppling of the PTI government. “The group of thieves and ‘crime minister’ who are now in power had an agenda to quash all cases against them. But what were the neutrals thinking when they allowed such a conspiracy to succeed?” she asked.

“Whether they [neutrals] were part of the conspiracy to derail Pakistan on the economic and democratic front?”

The PTI leader expressed surprise at the Supreme Court for “giving an exact date and time for the National Assembly to take up the no-confidence motion” against the then-prime minister. She claimed that the conspiracy was hatched after Mr Khan had refused to give military bases to the US during an interview.

Criticising the Election Commission of Pakistan, she said several PTI lawmakers defected to other parties in clear violation of the Constitution, but “the ECP is silent on it”. She demanded resignation of the chief election commissioner.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2022

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