PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday came down hard on the PTI, saying that the latter’s politics only revolved around appointments to the country’s top posts.
She made the remarks while addressing the office-bearers of the PML-N lawyers’ wing alongside Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in Lahore a day after PTI chief Imran Khan challenged the country’s incumbent rulers to put forward a plan to rescue Pakistan from the many crises it found itself mired in, and laid out his own roadmap to recovery.
At the outset of her talk, Maryam said that she had previously stated in her speeches that the PML-N was not afraid of elections, but merely wanted the scales of justice to be balanced before they were conducted.
“We are not scared of elections. We are not selected, we are elected. Those who are selected should be worried,” she said.
She also took exception to assertions that the PML-N only wanted to delay elections till October as a new chief justice would be in place by then.
“PTI’s whole politics revolves around which appointment is happening when. Yesterday, this slipped out of Sheikh Rashid’s mouth during the rally […]. That showed me that their entire politics revolves around appointments.”
She said that previously the PTI had the support of some from the military establishment, who had since left. “Now, they have found the judicial establishment,” she remarked.
She said that the PTI’s long march last year in November was aimed at making the appointment of the new army chief controversial. “Their entire politics revolves around appointments, around crutches. Their entire politics revolves around facilitators.”
Maryam said that Imran had “brazenly and blatantly” flouted the country’s laws by hiding in his home despite being summoned by the courts. “And when he went, he took armed groups […] tell me when in our history has someone been facilitated like this.”
Drawing a comparison with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Maryam said her father faced false cases on the basis of which he was later disqualified.
But when Imran, who has continuously been flouting the laws of the land, goes to court, he is given bail left and right with the “strike of a pen”, she said. Maryam said Nawaz, Sanaullah and she herself had appeared before the courts in false cases but had never taken an armed group with them.
She said that the police went to Zaman Park in Lahore, where Imran’s residence is located, to implement the orders of the court yet officials were attacked with stones and petrol bombs. “The entire state was attacked from there just because police went to implement the court’s orders. Why are Pakistan’s laws and the Constitution sleeping? Why is action not being taken? […] Who is it who is protecting him (Imran) to this day?”
Putting her hand on her chest, Maryam said she was a democratic political worker. “I think that there is no other solution apart from elections. Elections should happen after every five years but there should be political stability in the country,” she said as she asserted that the PML-N would take part in and win the polls.
She said that the PTI was clamouring about the Constitution being violated but had forgotten when the Supreme Court unanimously struck down ex-National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri’s ruling on the no-confidence motion against Imran.
“When a person violates the Constitution, which article is applicable on him then? Article 6 is applicable […]. The SC said the Constitution was violated. Where is the punishment for violating the Constitution?”
She said that if the government had not filed a plea against Imran for violating the Constitution, then it was its “weakness”. She asserted that such a plea should be filed with the country’s top court.
She said that the SC should also look at the fact that someone who was determined to have violated the Constitution had gotten off scot-free. “What should we make of this?”
She said that Imran had dissolved assemblies in order to spread “unrest, chaos and anarchy” and questioned if the country and its institutions could work on the whims of such a person.
The PML-N leader also took exception to the SC’s decision to take suo motu notice of the delay in holding elections in KP and Punjab. She said two judges wrote a note to the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) while hearing a completely unrelated case which lead to the top court taking suo motu notice.
“And that crisis has since prevailed. There is still a question mark [….] If the decision was 4-3, then this crisis would not exist. So there is some facilitating involved. I am not going to mince my words,” she said, terming the suo motu notice, the bench hearing the case and the note written by the two judges to the CJP all to be “controversial”.
She noted that one of the two judges she mentioned was the subject of a reference filed in the Supreme Judicial Council regarding financial irregularities. “And if someone says something then it is contempt of court? Contempt of court is when the courts are unable to dispense justice and corrupt judges are protected.”
She said that even if elections were held, what guarantee was there that Imran would accept the results if the PML-N won.
“And if he wins in KP, where he is popular, who will guarantee that he won’t dissolve the assembly again?” she asked, adding that there could not be “selective application” of the Constitution.
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