Maryam says Imran ‘revolted’ against state after ouster

Published June 12, 2023
PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses a youth convention in Multan on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses a youth convention in Multan on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

MULTAN: PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday lambasted PTI Chairman Imran Khan and said the former prime minister had “revolted against the state and attacked its institutions” after being removed from power through a parliamentary vote of no-confidence.

Addressing a PML-N youth convention in Shujaabad, a district in Multan, the PML-N chief organiser said the PTI chairman had “set the country on fire” and his supporters desecrated memorials of martyrs on May 9 after he was detained by Rangers in a NAB case.

“His own sons are living in the UK but [he] handed over matchboxes, batons, and petrol bombs to his party workers to set the army installation on fire after he was arrested in a corruption case [on May 9],” the PML-N leader alleged.

Ms Nawaz also used the opportunity to take swipes at her rival, especially in light of desertions and said Mr Khan’s party was reduced to such a small number that it could be bundled into a rickshaw.

She said Imran Khan used to make “tall claims against his opponents that he would force them to weep” but now he himself was crying and “no one is there to provide him any kind of solace”. The PML-N leader claimed Imran Khan was holed up in his house in Zaman Park and recording statements on YouTube, while also “asking the army leadership to talk to him”.

PML-N leader takes dig at PTI over desertions, says Imran-led party took ‘26 minutes to dismantle’

In another jab at the PTI, Ms Nawaz said that as per Imran Khan the PTI was made after his 26-year-long struggle, but it did not even take “26 minutes to be dismantled”. “The party was formed in the aeroplane of a person and it went back to him,” she said in an apparent reference to the role of ex-PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen who had played an instrumental in the formation of PTI’s government in Punjab after the 2018 elections. Recently, Mr Tareen had formed a new political party, made up of PTI defectors who had parted ways with Imran Khan after the May 9 crackdown.

According to Ms Nawaz, her father was removed from power two times but his party supporters did not resort to violence targeting state installations. In October 1999, Nawaz Sharif was addressing a public gathering in the same district when dictator Pervez Musharraf ousted his majority government and put him in jail. “Our family did not know about his whereabouts for the next 40 days,” she claimed and added that Mr Sharif was sentenced to life and later had to face exile.

He was again removed from the premiership in 2017 and also sent to jail in 2018 but he did not ask anyone to set the country on fire, she said, adding that the PML-N leaders and workers stood by Mr Sharif in these trying times. “Mr Khan does not want to go to jail after committing corruption,” she said and called him a coward.

The PML-N did not ask its workers to set institutions on fire because they had brought development in the country by making roads, motorways, metro buses and trains so how could they destroy these projects, she claimed.

According to Maryam Nawaz, the government had increased the salaries of public employees by 35 per cent and fixed the minimum wage at Rs32,000 in the budget for the next fiscal year despite difficult economic conditions. She said the PML-N would provide further relief to the public if they voted for the Sharif-led party.

“I promise to the people of Shujaabad that they would not have to leave their city for Lahore and Karachi for better education, health, and job opportunities because the next government would provide them all these basic facilities in their city.

She said the PML-N would take measures to upgrade agriculture as most of the people worked in this sector and added that the government would seek help from global experts to revolutionise agriculture. “We have a huge population of youth so we will also bring IT reforms to provide job opportunities,” she said.

Ms Nawaz also recited the poetry of well-known poet Shakir Shujaabadi and prayed for his health. She said that she loved the Saraiki poetry and recited a verse of Khawaja Ghulam Fareed.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2023

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