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PM Imran terms PDM's rally a "circus", says Nawaz is targeting military, state institutions to create anarchy

  • Imran says Nawaz Sharif got the seat of chief minister Punjab by "polishing General Zia's shoes" and he could sell the country for his own gains
Updated 17 Oct 2020

(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed the Pakistan Democratic Movement's October 16 rally in Gujranwala a "circus", saying PML-N founder Nawaz Sharif, who fled abroad by deceiving the government, is targeting the military and state institutions to create chaos in the country.

Addressing the Tiger Force Convention in Islamabad on Saturday, he said that Nawaz Sharif could sell the country for his own gains. Imran said the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif had also spoken against Pakistan’s Army Chief and DG ISPR.

He said the convicted former prime minister got the seat of chief minister Punjab by "polishing General Zia's shoes".

"He [Nawaz] is trying his best to create chaos and anarchy in army by criticizing the army chief and DG ISPR."

Without naming, he said that both Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto have never earned a penny with hard work. He said, "I had already predicted 11 years ago that they would all come together. You saw that they all came together in PDM jalsa."

The PM said both of them grew up on their father’s illicit earnings, so it is useless to comment on them. "No one in Bollywood can act like Bilawal and Maryam," the premier said.

He stated that the Opposition will now see a different Imran Khan. Imran stated that the government will bring Nawaz Sharif back at all costs. "None of those who looted country's wealth will be given production orders. From now on, the corrupt mafia will be kept in jails like an ordinary person."

"We will not give them any facility in prisons," he remarked.

The premier also asked NAB and judiciary to expedite the process of accountability against the corrupt mafia. He said the government is ready to facilitate and cooperate with state institutions in this regard.

PM praises COAS Bajwa's efforts

Praising the efforts of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the prime minister said that the COAS has helped the government in difficult times. He added that General Bajwa did his best to engage with the government and rescue the country out of the crisis.

Tiger Force to report hoarding

PM said that Tiger Force has an important role to play. He said The volunteers' force helps district administrations in hour of need and play an important part in dealing with crisis situations.

He said, "I need Tiger Force to keep check on hoarding." He stated that Tiger Force volunteers need not to interfere in official matters, rather they will just have to report any hoarding on the forces' portal.

Regarding inflation and rise in prices of essential commodities, the PM said that there are many reasons for rise in prices.

He started off his address by welcoming the Tiger Force volunteers and thanked them for their enthusiasm. He was interrupted at multiple times by the crowd, which continued loudly shouting its support for the prime minister.

"You have to be quiet. You have to listen to me quietly," he asked multiple times. "It is important that I say what I need to say."

He then thanked the Tiger Force for its activities since it was formed on March 28.

"I would like to thank you on behalf of the nation," he said, before he was interrupted and had to ask for some quiet again.

"You will enjoy what I have to say if you are quiet. Because there was a circus last night and I want to talk about it as well."

Addressing the Tiger Force, which is largely comprised of youth volunteers, he said that it is important for them to understand their position and the importance of their work.

"The volunteer force has a high stature in society, because you have to protect the rights of our citizens. This is a big role in a democracy: Tigers, you have a big role. Pakistanis are a nation who stand for their country," he said.

"I cannot speak to you everyday, so listen to me: We are a nation of people who have a big heart.

"There was a shortfall in wheat in Pakistan because in the last two years it rained at the wrong time due to climate change," he said.

"I have called you today because there is inflation in our country and there are many reasons for it. The rupee has fallen against the dollar because when we got the government, we had the largest trade deficit."

"There was a $40 billion trade deficit. When the rupee falls, whatever we buy from outside, the price of it increases — such as gas, petrol and electricity — all of this increases. I'm not referring to diesel on purpose," he said.

Referring again to irregular rainfall, which he had blamed for the wheat shortage, PM Imran Khan said, "It rained when the wheat was supposed to be thrashed. That decreased the supply of wheat, and we saw a deficit. We needed 7.2 million tonnes of wheat. When there was a deficit, the price of wheat increased."

"We found out about the shortage late, because the systems we had were not right. We reduced that deficit by importing [wheat]."

The background

Earlier this year, a month after Pakistan confirmed its first coronavirus case, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the ‘Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Tigers Force,’ popularly known as the Tiger Force, which enlisted young volunteers from across the country to help combat coronavirus.

However, the scope of the force has been widened since it was formed and volunteers are now helping with various other government projects. These include a tree plantation drive and a waste management project and Pakistan’s fight against the country’s worst locust invasion in over 25 years.

The volunteers, which included men and women, had registered through a government app, and are working in different areas around the country in coordination with local administrations. The volunteers have helped district administrations implement coronavirus standard operating procedures like social distancing in mosques and public places, distributed food and other essentials among the poor.