ISLAMABAD: PML-N senior vice president Maryam Nawaz on Sunday alleged the judiciary is still “behaving like a facilitator” of PTI chief Imran Khan as he got off scot-free on charges of corruption and misuse of power despite availablility of evidence against him.
“Judiciary is still facilitating him [Imran Khan]. The facility he is still enjoying is not giving a good impression about the judiciary,” Ms Nawaz said while replying to a question, during an interaction with a group of media persons, as to why the government was not arresting Mr Khan despite claiming to have evidence of his involvement in corruption and misuse of authority.
“There are evidences that Imran’s hands are tainted with corruption. He is not appearing before courts and getting dates [of next hearings] again and again. Judiciary is still facilitating him and giving him complete liberty, and it’s raising questions,” she added.
She said Mr Khan was not giving replies about Toshakhana gifts, Tyrian White and prohibited funding to his party, while she and her father PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif had attended over 200 hearings of “baseless corruption cases” based on Panamagate and used to come from Lahore to Islamabad at every hearing.
Says no immediate relief in sight as IMF is ‘holding us from the neck’
Ms Nawaz accused the judiciary of making discrimination between Mr Khan and PML-N leaders during their trials. “Imran Khan gets a different treatment than what is meted out to us, because a leader of the PTI hailing from Faisalabad is son-in-law of a judge,” she alleged.
“A man [Imran] is continuously making lame excuses and not appearing before courts despite the fact that he had confessed he sold precious wristwatches of billions of rupees after getting them from Toshakhana at a meagre price. He again told a lie that the money he got through sale of those watches was used on the construction of a road near his house at Banigala. In fact that road had been constructed on the directive of [ex-PM] Nawaz Sharif,” she claimed.
Ms Nawaz rejected the perception that after Mr Khan’s ouster from power, her party was being facilitated by the establishment.
“If it is true, then why Nawaz Sharif would have not returned to the country. Even today we are facing baseless cases while those who are guilty are living freely.”
The PML-N leader, however, also said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif would soon return and lead their party before general elections.
While ruling out the possibility of any technocrats’ set-up in the country, she said ‘tough decision’ required by the IMF for revival of the economy would not be accepted by the Fund if done by technocrats.
The PML-N leader blamed former chief justice Saqib Nisar and ex-spy master retired Gen Faiz Hamid for giving undue support and facilitation to Mr Khan. “But today the facilitators are regretting for supporting him and hiding their faces in shame,” she alleged.
Talking about the unprecedented price hike in the country, she admitted taht there would be no immediate relief for the people. “There is no immediate relief in sight. IMF is holding us from the neck.”
Ms Nawaz announced that from Monday his party would start preparations for the general elections. She said she was not eyeing the offices of prime minister and chief minister [Punjab]. She said senior party leaders, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, realised the process of evolution continued to take place all the time and hoped that he would guide her in strengthening the PML-N.
She skipped a question about her husband’s recent statement in which he said that she didn’t deserve to be the next prime minister of the country. “I think this question should be asked from Safdar,” she added.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2023