Imran accuses PDM govt of using terrorism to gain 'political mileage'

Published February 4, 2023
<p>Former prime minister Imran Khan addresses the nation on February 4, 2023. — Twitter/PTIofficial</p>

Former prime minister Imran Khan addresses the nation on February 4, 2023. — Twitter/PTIofficial

Former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday accused the coalition government of using the recent wave of terrorism to gain "political mileage" for their benefit.

In a televised address, the PTI chairman claimed that terrorism was at its lowest-ever point during his government but resurfaced with a vengeance during the "current regime".

"Look at the graph of terrorism and how it came down during the PTI government," he said. "Why wasn't there any terrorism when PTI was in the federal government?"

Imran pinned the responsibility of rising terrorism on incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as he recalled the sacrifices made by the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the war on terror.

"This is why they (KP public) came out yesterday and thronged the streets in fear that there might be another operation," he said, adding that countless innocent lives are lost during anti-terror operations.

The PTI chief added that "lies" were spewed by PM Shehbaz in the cabinet meeting over the weekend regarding KP not utilising the terrorism funding properly.

"KP spent Rs600 billion in nine years. We made four police training schools, an elite training school in Nowshera, a special combat force to fight terrorism," Imran said. "This is why terrorism subsided. A DNA lab was also made in 2017 at Khyber Medical College."

Commenting on the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the ex-PM said only two provinces, Punjab and KP, followed through on the commitment and gave money for the uplift of tribal districts.

Imran said Sindh and Balochistan did not provide any money. "We invested Rs55b for the tribal districts. The PDM government only gave Rs5b."

'Jail Bharo Tehreek'

Imran also announced a "Jail Bharo Tehreek" as the next step to be taken by the PTI in light of the prevailing political situation that has seen several of its top leaders and allies spend time behind bars.

Elaborating on the movement, the PTI chief said "instead of thronging the streets, getting violent and ransacking places, we will now fill the jails of the country".

This way, he said, the federal government's "new hobby" of putting every senior PTI leader in jail will also be fulfilled.

"Entire party and the people should prepare for the Jail Bharo Tehreek", Imran said. "Whenever I give the signal, we all will get out and give our arrests to the authorities."

The announcement comes after the arrests of several PTI leaders and its allies over the past few months — a sequence that began with Shehbaz Gill and has since seen Senator Azam Swati, Fawad Chaudhry, and Sheikh Rashid spend time in detention.

Imran had announced a similar movement in October in a bid to force the incumbent government to hold elections but it did not pan out as planned.

Meanwhile, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “We will fill the jails of the entire country on the call of Chairman Imran Khan”.

In a tweet, the former foreign minister added that this want of the “fascist imported government” will also be fulfilled.

“Handcuffs and torture is nothing,” he said, adding that his life is also ready to be sacrificed for the country.

Marriyum blames Imran for nation’s woes

Separately, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the nation was facing difficulties due to the "imprudent policies" of the PTI chief.

According to a Radio Pakistan report, the PML-N leader was addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the PM (SAPM) on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Faisal Karim Kundi in Islamabad.

She lambasted the former PTI-led government in KP for not equipping the provincial police and Counter Terrorism Department.

“PTI did not take adequate action against terrorism despite receiving enough resources from the federal government," the report quoted her as saying.

The minister criticised Imran for victimising his political opponents by jailing them in fake cases.

Speaking on the occasion, SAPM Kundi termed the PTI government’s tenure in KP as "corrupt", adding that he had asked the interim-KP government to inquire into the corruption of the PTI tenure.

He added that Imran was merely blaming former president Asif Ali Zardari only to get attention.

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