PTI issues scathing ‘white paper’ on PDM’s rule

Published April 10, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks in a video address on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks in a video address on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf launched a white paper on Sunday to mark the first year of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — a multi-party coalition that ousted Imran Khan-led government via a no-trust vote in April last year — in power and underlined how the ruling coalition had “devastated” economy and “contravened” the Constitution.

The document spans six chapters and passes a scathing judgement on the PDM government’s style of governance, particularly the treatment meted out to the opposition party by the ruling coalition. It also deliberates on issues related to economy, Constitution, democracy and rule of law, political exploitation of state institutions, attack on judiciary, ‘chained’ foreign policy, and law and order.

The party has dedicated the white paper to PTI chief Imran Khan, party workers, and the people of Pakistan, who are “fighting and facing torture for real independence” and democracy.

The PTI chairman also spoke via video link from his residence in Zaman Park on the launch of the white paper. The former premier accused the government of ravaging the country’s all institutions, rule of law, and the economy as well as violations of basic human rights.

Imran says political parties cannot be crushed through violence, asks supporters to be ready for street protests as govt won’t hold polls

Mr Khan claimed that the federal government would not allow elections to be held as per the court order and urged his supporters to remain prepared to take to the streets for the sake of basic human rights and justice. Stating that the nation was now awake to protect its rights and standing with the judiciary, Mr Khan said the nation would be required to come out on roads in both situations — either the government does not hold elections, or elections are held after a crackdown on PTI with its leadership incarcerated. “We should be ready for all kinds of situations,” he asserted.

Imran Khan accused former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa of hatching a conspiracy alongside PM Shehbaz Sharif to topple his government with the help of former envoy Hussain Haqqani.

Mr Khan asked, “Would anyone question the man (Bajwa) who ravaged the country’s all indicators for his extension which was promised by present PM Shehbaz Sharif.”

Mr Khan also admitted that the conspiracy to overthrow his government was not hatched in the US. It was actually Gen Bajwa who had orchestrated the conspiracy with the help of Shehbaz Sharif and then hired Hussain Haqqani to launch propaganda that “Gen Bajwa was pro-America and Imran Khan was anti-America”. “The cipher made entry came only after the conspiracy had taken its roots,” the former premier acknowledged.

On the day when he left the PM office with “only a diary in his hand”, Mr Khan said the PTI had launched a white paper that what actually had happened to Pakistan during the past year. He said the nation must know the fate of Pakistan just because a few people took a decision behind closed doors.

Mr Khan said his government inherited a bankrupt economy in 2018 when Pakistan was facing its highest $20 billion current account deficit with only $8 billion in reserves. “The PTI government stabilised the economy…fought against the coronavirus pandemic…eventually boosted the economy to rise by 5.7 per cent and 6 per cent during the last two years of its rule,” he asserted.

He lamented the growth rate had now slid down to 0.4 per cent which has pushed at least four million people below the poverty line. “The 12 per cent inflation has now risen to almost 35 per cent,” he added.

Stating the PDM government faced no crisis and still blowing the trumpet of the rise in terrorism, Mr Khan claimed there was a grave surge in terror incidents during the PTI government but it controlled the “menace and drove Pakistan from terrorism to tourism”. He claimed the incumbent rulers did not rehabilitate the TTP when the Afghan Taliban sent them back to Pakistan. It may be noted here that the PTI government had planned to resettle TTP militants in tribal districts.

Speaking about the prohibited funding case, Imran Khan claimed, “The foreign funding case has ended and the Toshakhana case will meet the same fate…Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari would now be caught in this case.” The Toshakhana record was now available and their act of stealing cars would be exposed soon, he claimed.

Mr Khan said the PDM government also attacked the media, imposed restrictions through “unidentified people” and now it was coercing TV channels not to broadcast his speeches. “This is a state of freedom of speech that even the head of the country’s biggest political party is not allowed to speak to the masses,” he regretted. He said the PDM government also desecrated the fundamental rights of people by unleashing torture on PTI leaders and workers in Lahore on May 25 last year.

The PTI chairman said a political party that wanted free and fair elections as this was the only way to end the crises faced by Pakistan. He added that the party never wanted to be part of any violence and give the government a chance to postpone elections. “The government tried its utmost that the PTI leaders and workers would react and it could claim that the security situation was not normal to hold elections,” Mr Khan claimed.

Among “144 cases instituted” against him, the PTI chief said that he had also been implicated in a treason case by a magistrate since he had called an intelligence agency officer ‘Dirty Harry’ and a ‘psychopath’. The PTI chief also narrated attacks on his life and said the JIT record that was exposing the government’s three functionaries’ plans to “eliminate him” was sabotaged.

Giving a message to the “all-powerful” and Nawaz Sharif for making a ‘London Plan’, the PTI chief said political parties could not be crushed by violence, torture, and harassment tactics. He stressed every individual should be brought under the law and said “a woman” was chiding the judiciary and the judges but no one was holding her accountable.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2023

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