Nawaz Sharif leaves an accountability court in Lahore after the hearing. File
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has committed “high treason” by targeting state institutions at the behest of India.
"Sharif committed the highest treason by targeting military leadership which is tantamount to incite mutiny in the armed forces,” Imran said in an interview with a local TV channel.
"How all of a sudden Sharif who was brought into politics by military dictator General Ziaul Haq became champion of democracy and Indian media is portraying him as a hero,” the prime minister added.
Asked about the evidence, Imran said intelligence agencies have information about Sharif’s links with India. "We cannot sue Sharif on the basis of intelligence reports because they are not acceptable as evidence in the courts.”
About the “Karachi Incident” — the events surrounding the arrest of opposition leader Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar, the spouse of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, in Karachi, the prime minister said it had benefited his rival party - PML-N. "If I were there I would have not taken action against them because this would overshadow their other crimes which are far more serious. If you put them behind bars over issues like these it will help them gain sympathies.”
His response comes three days after the Pakistan army announced the removal of its officials involved in interfering into the affairs of the Sindh police. "The Court of Inquiry has established that on night 18/19 Oct officers from Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and ISI sector Headquarters Karachi were considerably seized with the fallout of desecration of Mazar-e-Quaid,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said in a statement.
"They were under increasing public pressure to ensure prompt action as per the law. Assessing the response of police authorities against this developing yet volatile situation to be slow and wanting, in a charged environment, the ISI/Rangers concerned officers decided to act, rather overzealously. They were indeed experienced enough to have acted more prudently and could have avoided creating an unwarranted situation that led to misunderstanding between the two state institutions."
About the 11-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the premier said that their only aim was to get relief in corruption cases by pressuring his government. "They all are pocket pickers threatening to topple my government to get amnesty for corruption cases but come what may I will not compromise on corruption cases even If my government is toppled.”
Imran while rejecting the allegation of political victimisation on the pretext of corruption cases said: "We did not make a single corruption case against them except TT [telegraphic transfer] case against [PML-N President] Shahbaz Sharif and all corruption cases were lodged during the tenure of opposition parties.”
The prime minister said that he was "fully satisfied” with the performance of his government while admitting that it could have performed better on the economic front if it had not delayed the decision about availing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic support programme. "It created confusion and caused loss to the economy.”
"Why do these revelations expose repeatedly?” he posed a question in a series of tweets, and said exactly what he has been saying in his 24 years fight against corruption, which is the biggest threat to Pakistan’s progress. "These elites come to power and plunder the country.”
Imran said the opposition parties have been blackmailing the government since day one to grant them amnesty. He said that the NRO given to the opposition by Pervez Musharraf had had disastrous effects on Pakistan, leading to an increase in debt liabilities.
The rally in the city of Multan was held a day after police, on orders from the government, carried out the arrests and banned the gathering, defending the move as necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
Giving out the verdict, the court told the chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to sell Sharif’s shares. Authorities may proceed with any auction that they do not receive an objection against.
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