ISLAMABAD: Terming assassination bid on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan a “drama”, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday said that the much trumpeted long march of the party has hit the snag and it cannot be revived now.
Speaking at a presser, he called upon the coalition government not to show any mercy on PTI chief and his party following the turn of events in the wake of the assassination attempt on Khan in Wazirabad.
“I ask the government to be strict. No one should be allowed to play with the country...there will be no leniency with them now,” said the cleric who is also head of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the twelve-party alliance, formed to oust the then PTI government.
He also urged interior minister Rana Sanaullah to deal with PTI marchers with an iron fist if they dared enter the federal capital, saying no leniency should be shown towards them.
About the assassination attempt on Khan, the cleric said: “A new drama was plotted as when the news first came, we were worried and expressed sympathy, but now we’ve realised that Imran Khan has left Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan behind in acting”.
The top cleric of JUI-F said that the PTI chairman has lost sympathy after the “drama” he staged, and also questioned the number of bullets fired at Khan, those that hit him, and whether he was hit on both legs.
“Fragments of bullets were hit. Where did these fragments come from,” said the cleric without showing any remorse while highlighting details of the attack as explained by PTI chief.
He added that there are fragments of a bomb, but not of bullets.
The JUI-F chief also spoke about Khan’s reluctance to go to another hospital and emphasised that the former PM is lying throughout.
“When hit by the bullet, he reaches Lahore in one day. Treatment for bone is being carried out at a cancer hospital. The man is constantly lying even today,” he said, adding that the nation is being put through anxiety and confusing everyone by using the incident.
The cleric maintained that Punjab provincial government was responsible for the security of the long march in the province and insisted that Khan’s lies should be investigated.
“Accusations are being hurled at important figures without evidence,” the cleric said while criticising Khan and his party for blaming military officials for the attack.
He also commented about the cypher which, as alleged by Khan and his party members, was the reason behind his government’s ouster in April.
“He waved the fake cypher after being ousted due to no confidence. A joint investigation team should be made to probe into how a fake letter was waved before the nation. A case should be filed for misrepresenting a state secret,” he said, adding that Khan wants an army chief of his choice.
Questioning the whereabouts of a threat letter issued to martyred journalist Arshad Sharif, he said: “In Arshad Sharif’s case, it was established that he was sent abroad on the basis of a threat letter. Tell us where is it. There is one copy of the threat letter, which is with the [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] chief minister.”
He maintained that when a threat letter is issued, it reaches officials of all institutions so that they can follow the terrorists. He added that no one has the letter’s copy.
He demanded that if an investigation commission is formed to probe Sharif’s killing, then Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief executive and provincial ministers should also be investigated.
“If an investigation is done, you will be trapped, just like you’re trapped in a closed alley now. There is no way for you to get out,” he said, claiming that “Khan is lying to keep himself alive.”
However, he condemned the alleged objectionable video of PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati and his wife, which the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) declared fake as the senator is yet to share it with the agency.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022