LAHORE: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz says the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Imran Khan enter Islamabad emboldened the PTI workers to set afire public property in federal capital.

“The situation was well under control until the Supreme Court order in the night that prompted the PTI workers to set ablaze the federal capital, which continued to burn for many hours last night,” she said while speaking to reporters on Thursday outside the house of police constable Kamal Ahmed, who had been shot dead by a PTI leader during a raid on the latter’s house.

The apex court had on Wednesday directed the government to remove hurdles from entrances to Islamabad and make arrangements within three hours for Imran Khan, who was leading a march on the federal capital from Peshawar, to hold a public meeting at H-9 sector’s park.

The former PM had rather led the rally to D-Chowk instead of the H-9 Park in violation of the court orders, while PTI workers had put on fire a metro bus station and green belts in the Blue Area.

Ms Nawaz regretted the court’s remarks that the ex-premier might have been misled about the court’s directions. She said the PTI counsel was present when the verdict had been announced, while Imran Khan himself had been using his Twitter account throughout the day [and could not have missed noticing the court orders widely covered by social media].

Urging the apex court to revisit its verdict, she didn’t buy the argument that the ‘leaderless’ workers had run amok and pointed out that PTI MNA Amir Dogar was riding the roof of a jeep and was allegedly giving directions to the rioters.

The PML-N leader alleged that resources of the PTI’s KP government, including helicopter, vehicles, teargas stocks and weapons, were “shamelessly” used for the so-called Azadi March.

“The claimant of leading a mob of three million people to the federal capital could not gather even 20,000 people as the nation sent the Azadi March as a barbadi (destruction) march back to Peshawar.”

She said the ‘revolution’ Imran was bringing to the country remained hanging in air as the leader didn’t dismount the helicopter, while the poor workers were left to face the police on roads.

In reply to a question about the government delegation’s talks with the IMF in Doha, she said IMF had handed over them a long list of promises the Imran government had made with the lender which included increasing prices of oil and power tariff.

She warned that the country could default on its international payments in case prices of petroleum products and power tariff were not increased.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2022

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