Islamabad : As the anti-government alliance of 11 opposition political parties under the name of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) started its campaign, Prime Minister Imran Khan has come out guns blazing against the agenda of his predecessor Nawaz Sharif, which he said is aimed as “sowing discord in the military, the judiciary, and the government”.
Lashing out in an aggressive response to the PDM’s first rally held in Gujranwala on Friday, Khan accused the former premier for working on the enemy’s agenda in an attempt to escape accountability for his financial corruption.
A visibly angry Khan mocked Sharif as a “Jackal” who ran away to London with his “tail between the legs”.
“This is the same man who had first become a Minister with the blessings of Gen (retd) Ghulam Jilani; this is the same man who had become the Chief Minister (Punjab) by polishing the boots of Gen Ziaul Haq; this is the same man who had received millions of rupees from the then ISI chief Gen (retd) (Asad) Durrani through Mehran Bank to cobble together an alliance of rightwing parties to contest the elections against the PPP,” Khan said while referring to Sharif’s political career.
“Gen Durrani conceded this in his report submitted in the Supreme Court. But ironically, our courts have always helped him get away. This is the man who put Asif Ali Zardari in jail twice. It was Zardari who had instituted the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against him, not Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.”
The Prime Minister said Sharif’s ongoing targeted slandering against Pakistan’s military establishment is nothing but an agenda of the enemy to ensure disorientation between the state institutions and spread instability in the country.
“Sharif is playing a dangerous game by trying to create rifts in the govermnet, the military and the judiciary Sharif has been repeatedly accused of furthering in the Indian narrative – for which he is receiving massive coverage in the Indian media,” he said.
“The Indian newspapers are praising Sharif for championing democracy. Don’t they know this is the Nawaz Sharif who was nurtured by military dictator General Ziaul Haq! Isn’t he the same Nawaz Sharif who had attacked and tried to buy the judiciary! He is only with the judiciary as long as it rules in his favour. When the judiciary closes the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, he praises it, but cries foul when he is convicted in the Panama Papers case. Did Gen Bajwa leak the Panama Papers?,” Khan queried.
He declared the Gujranwala rally a circus, stating that all thieves unite whenever they are held accountable.
“When you go after the thieves, they will unite. Last night they were all together,” he said.
Sharif was allowed to fly to London late last year for treatment of his undiagnosed illness with a guarantee of return to complete his seven-year jail term, handed on corruption charges.
Sharif and his PML-N party however, claim that all these charges are trumped up and motivated by political vendetta.
Pakistan courts have declared Sharif a proclaimed offender following his refusal to return to Pakistan to serve out his sentence.
On the other hand, his brother and leader of the opposition in Parliament Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza are in the custody of the National Accountability Board (NAB) in connection to corruption references, while the former premier’s daughter Maryam Nawaz is out on bail.