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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz on Thursday claimed that a “forward bloc” has almost been formed in the ruling PTI and urged all the opposition parties, as well as, the coalition partners to come forward on people’s call and send the sitting government packing.

Talking to reporters here after appearing before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), she maintained that every single day of the government in power is pushing the country a year back.

“I want to tell all the MNAs and MPAs who have almost created a ‘forward bloc’ that it is currently the battle between the masses and the powerful. The way Imran Khan has caused damage to the country and the people, a single day of this government is pushing Pakistan backward by a year,” she maintained.

According to her, it was now the responsibility of all, the opposition parties, as well as, the coalition partners to come forward on people’s call. “Otherwise, I would also tell this to the ruling coalition partners, that those who support Imran Khan would not be able to go in pubic for vote in their constituencies.”

I think, all should now come forward on the people’s call whether the ruling coalition partners or others, she added in response to a question with regard to the planned no-confidence motion of the opposition against the prime minister.

She said that if the opposition would not act at this time, the people would equally hold them responsible for the current miseries. “The message which I just conveyed to the PTI’s disgruntled members, also applies the same way for the PML-N, as the people would hold the opposition equally responsible if they did not act now,” she said.

“Although the no-confidence motion is a ‘risk’, yet it must be taken, as Imran Khan is currently on his last legs,” she further maintained, adding that she was hopeful that the move will succeed.

To another query whether the PML-N would support giving yet another extension to the army chief, she declined to comment, saying it was a “premature” to say anything on the matter.

Responding to another question about the arrest of journalist Mohsin Baig, she recalled the last days of Pervez Musharraf, saying when he deposed judges of the apex court and the then chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was pulled by hair and was dragged on the Constitution Avenue by the law enforcement agencies.

“When I see the current situation of Imran Khan, it reminds me of the last days of Musharraf. Mohsin Baig was good when he was with you [Imran Khan] and according to him [Baig] he collected Rs1 billion for you [Imran Khan] and assisted you in your political matters. When he started criticising you, but you didn’t tolerate criticism and misused a state agency – the FIA,” she maintained. She also condemned the campaign against journalists.

Referring to the campaign against the First Lady over social media, she said that the prime minister’s wife was respectable to everyone, yet she urged the prime minister to set the same standards for all the women.

“The standards he [Imran Khan] wants for his wife, should also have been shown for late Kulsoom Nawaz when she was fighting for her life at a hospital in London,” she said, adding that when she used to go to see her mother at the London’s hospital, PTI workers used to harass her while “the prime minister was tight-lipped.”

She also urged the prime minister to be tolerant of the criticism. “Or let’s know whether you came from the sky or you are such a personality that cannot be criticised?” she added, while referring to the ill treatment of various journalists who are critical of the government’s performance.

While counting the alleged “crimes” of the premier, she said that on top of the list is the alleged “political victimisation” by “misusing” the state institutions and agencies at the expense of the taxpayers’ money.

“Though you were a ‘fake’ and ‘imposed’ prime minister, yet during the last four years, you did only one thing, which is suppressing the political rivals by neglecting major public issues, for which he will be held accountable…You will not be permitted to flee to London and you will have to be made accountable for each penny ‘misused’,” she further maintained.

When asked whether the prime minister would get the time to visit Russia later this month prior to the opposition’s planned no-confidence motion against him, she maintained the prime minister should be stopped from visiting foreign countries, saying that whenever he undertakes any visit abroad he used to say something against any other friendly country. “At the moment, he should be kept confined at a room at the PM House. He used to make a laughing stock of Pakistan whenever he visits any country,” she maintained.

She referred to his recent visit to China, saying that an impression was created that he would be going there for getting money. “But he didn’t get any money from there [China], and instead, he was busy and attending an Olympics ceremony in Beijing at a time when our soldiers were being martyred in Balochistan,” she said, while referring to the recent Nuskhi and Panjgur attacks.

She claimed that the current government has isolated Pakistan through its “failed” foreign policy, saying: “Even our friendly countries are not in speaking terms with Pakistan.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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