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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday came down hard on ex-prime minister Imran Khan for his criticism of State institutions, saying such actions must be controlled by staying within the ambit of the law and the Constitution.

Speaking in National Assembly, the prime minister – for the first time – acknowledged the “threat letter” from the US was genuine, but he questioned: “where was this element of conspiracy and treason conjured from.”

“The then ambassador of Pakistan to the US himself admitted that threatening language was used in the letter but where this element of conspiracy and treason was conjured from,” he added.

“The PTI chairman’s comments [against State institutions] are very dangerous and terrifying...he has directly likened Pakistan’s institutions to Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq,” he lamented.

PM accuses PTI govt of annoying China, stalling CPEC

“The poison he spewed about the institution yesterday (Sunday) is a conspiracy against it and Pakistan. If this is not stopped through the law and the Constitution, God forbid! This country will become a hideous reflection of Syria and Libya where cities present scenes of graveyards today,” said PM Shehbaz Sharif.

The prime minister claimed that Imran was the “blue-eyed” of the institution and “was fed milk like a child”, adding, “Without fear I want to say that in 75 years, this institution has never supported any government or prime minister like it did Imran Khan”.

In the same breath, he continued that it was his bad luck that despite that he (Imran Khan) learned nothing, did nothing, and did not serve the nation.

“There is no example found of this kind of support and nor will it be found again…if even 20 per cent to 30pc of that support was provided to the PPP or the PML-N governments, we would have had this country taking off like a plane flies,” he maintained.

The prime minister reiterated that if Imran’s comments were not clamped down on, nothing would be left and there would be a crisis in the country.

He lambasted the PTI chairman for taking the country in a direction where democracy could be eliminated.

The prime minister also criticised the PTI government on economic fronts such as its failure in arranging oil and gas supplies, maintaining power plants, managing the fiscal deficit and taking loans.

“The PTI government mortgaged future generations with the number of loans it had taken from international lending institutions,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif called Imran Khan a “security risk” for the country and claimed that the former prime minister had come into power on an “agenda”.

He alleged that the PTI chairman had attacked every institution and component of society, adding “Imran has become a security risk and is posing a threat to the nuclear arsenals of the country.”

Referring to the previous PTI government, Khawaja Asif said it was a tragedy that they used to say “we, the government, and the military are on the same page when it suited them even when constitutional institutions interfered or crossed their limits”.

“As long as Pindi supported them (the PTI), it was everything for them but today we are being accused of coming into power through a ‘foreign conspiracy’ and are being called an ‘imported government’. But I can say with full surety that this person (Imran) is bent upon destroying all constitutional institutions,” he claimed.

The minister said that Khan had used three cards — religion, targeting the United States and using the country’s traditional rivalry with India — when he saw his power being threatened.

“Imran wants to wreck and disrupt the process of restoring constitutional supremacy. He sullied religion, politics and decency. He taught people how to hurl expletives. He tore apart all the traditions of this society. And now he wants to go after an institution that is the protector of this country. He has tried several times within the last few months to drive cracks into that same institution,” he added.

He further claimed that Imran had tried to damage the country’s ideological, territorial and all other defences. Imran, his close associates and ministers earned money through corruption during the previous government’s tenure, he alleged.

Later, the parliament passed a unanimous resolution in condemnation of Imran Khan’s statements against the state institutions and expressed solidarity with the armed forces of the country.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi tabled the resolution which was backed by all parties present in the National Assembly.

The National Assembly Speaker, Raja Pervez Ashraf, said that the outburst by the former prime minister is nothing but a bid to weaken the armed forces, which the Constitution does not allow.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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zh May 10, 2022 05:37am
What was the take of the imported PM when his brother was mocking the army? Would he charge his brother with sedition whenever he comes back?
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