ISLAMABAD: Two main components of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement — the PML-N and PPP — on Saturday berated Imran Khan over the PTI chairman’s announcement of launching a ‘court arrest’ movement and his decision to stay away from the multi-party conference called by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the issue of rising terrorist attacks.
Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb while addressing a presser said the PTI leadership does not have the courage and capacity to launch a “fill the prison movement”, APP reported.
PPP leader and Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman while slamming Mr Khan over his refusal to attend the MPC said his priorities “do not align with Pakistan’s security and interests”.
Flanked by Special Assistant to PM on Poverty Alleviation Faisal Karim Kundi, Ms Aurangzeb dismissed Mr Khan’s call for jail bharo tehreek as another political stunt aimed at diverting people’s attention from “corruption during his four-year (mis)rule” which ushered in extreme inflation, terrorism and economic crises. She said Imran Khan did not participate in the apex committee meeting, held in Peshawar following a suicide attack in the city, as he knew that he did not utilise the allocated fund worth Rs471 billion for fighting terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. His government had failed to set up the counterterrorism department and forensic lab in KP.
Separately, Sherry Rehman while reacting to PTI’s decision to not attend the MPC said, “As Pakistan goes through a time of great crisis, it is unfortunate to witness that Imran Khan continues to act out a narrative that has lost its relevance and credibility”.
The minister in a statement said the coalition government was trying to bring the country’s political leadership on one page to discuss collective strategies to overcome the challenges the country was facing, and convening of MPC was a step in that direction.
However, she regretted, Imran Khan’s politics of polarisation only diminishes the national unity needed to fight national threats, particularly terrorism, on which he still signals ambiguity.
“Imran’s refusal to attend the [apex] committee meeting held in Governor House…to discuss the Peshawar Mosque tragedy, anti-terror meetings in Peshawar and the APC in Islamabad, that no party has ever refused in the past, no matter how deep the political differences, reflects Imran Khan’s selfish brand of politics,” the minister said.
“Imran Khan thinks he can be acquitted by blaming others every time. Our government didn’t call Osama bin Laden a martyr, gave presidential pardon to convicted terrorists, or negotiated with the terrorists. All this happened under the disastrous tenure of PTI, for which innocent Pakistani citizens are now paying the price,” she said.
His policy might be totally expedient for his own “extremism-friendly” politics, but it will be disastrous for Pakistan, she pointed out.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.