ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former prime minister Imran Khan has warned that the “conspiracies that led to the disintegration of Pakistan (in 1971)” were being repeated again to “pit the country’s largest political party against the army.”
“Some individuals, in pursuit of their vested interests, are damaging this country,” he said in a live television address to the nation on Wednesday.
“I was not even 18years old, I remember, when I went to play a match in East Pakistan in March 1970—there I saw the immense hatred among the largest political party (of East Pakistan) against the army. And we all know what happened. It is the saddest chapter of our history. Our country disintegrated,” he lamented.
“The same efforts are being repeated again. There is one party with a federal outlook that is stretched all the way— from Gilgit to Quetta—a conspiracy is being hatched to pit the country’s largest political party against the military—it is such a dangerous conspiracy-nothing can be more dangerous than that for the country,” he said.
On the behest of the foreign powers, the collaborators of this conspiracy are trying to dismantle the PTI by launching their plans one after another including the plan to create a split within the PTI.
“And they have this plan—to disqualify Imran Khan like Nawaz Sharif and bring these two at par with one another. This is the game—to cut to size the PTI—but Imran Khan can never be like Nawaz Sharif,” Khan said in his speech.
In a veiled warning, Khan asserted, “We have the street power—to shut down the entire country. But this would be damaging for the country.”
He added, “On May 25, their plan was to crush the PTI. They thought this is a party of “mummy-daddy” supporters who would not take to roads—Then they tried their best to corner us in the by-elections but the entire nation came out to put its weight behind the PTI,” he said.
“Now they are trying to go for a technical knockout. By using the foreign funding case as an excuse to corner the PTI. There’s nothing in this case—we have a record of 40,000 overseas donors— the PTI introduced the concept of political fundraising…” Khan said.
He alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was being used as a tool in the execution of the plan against the PTI.
“The court directed that foreign funding case (related to the PTI, the PML-N and the PPP) be heard and decided simultaneously but only the PTI was singled out.”
In the same vein, Khan said, “There is nothing that can go against the PTI in this case because I know how we raised funds from overseas Pakistanis. And these two parties—they have no money trail—nothing—because people don’t give them money.”
The ex-PM dubbed as totally false, the ECP’s verdict on the prohibited funding case, saying the truth would come out once the matter was probed by the courts
Responding to the controversy regarding Arif Naqvi, the PTI chief said, Naqvi was a “rising star of Pakistan” back in the year 2012 (when he raised funds for the PTI).
The K-Electric was privatised and sold to Naqvi when Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were in power, he added.
“Those who are part of the conspiracy to destabilise this country know it is not easy to eliminate PTI-so they keep unleashing new plans,” he added.
Regarding Toshakhana controversy, Khan said, he received a vehicle as a state gift that was deposited in Toshakhana. “You cannot keep such gifts—but Asif Zardari kept Toshakhana gifts including three luxury vehicles—Nawaz Sharif kept one vehicle—all the top-level officials including the army chief receive gifts—the details of Toshakhana gifts received by everyone should be investigated,” he added.
Khan’s address also featured from the past the footages of top Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders including those of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Maulana Fazalur Rehman, Asif Ali Zardari, and Ayaz Sadiq, where they could be seen strongly targeting the country’s security establishment by naming some top military generals and hurling serious accusations against them.
“These people are now calling us traitors—today, we are being told that they have become patriots and we are the traitors—those who have dirty money to the tune of billions of rupees stashed abroad are patriots,” the PTI chief deplored.
He lambasted Sharif for inviting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his granddaughter’s wedding reception, alleging that Sharif held secret meetings with Modi.
On the arrest of his Chief of Staff Shahbaz Gill, Khan said, charges should be pressed against Gill if he did anything wrong. “But breaking the door glass of his car, beating his driver up and picking him (Gill) unlawfully is simply unacceptable. We don’t know where he (Gill) has been kept,” the former PM said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022