Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan asked his party workers on Friday to prepare to descend on the prime minister’s private estate in Raiwind in a protest against the alleged siphoning of public funds by the Sharif family.
At the same time, Imran appealed to the PTV management to air his ‘live’ address to the nation in response to allegations levelled by the leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
PM Nawaz's family hit back after Panama Papers leak
Reiterating his party’s earlier demand, Imran called for establishing an investigation commission headed by the Supreme Court chief justice to probe allegations into the Panama leaks scandal or else his party would take to the streets.
Imran chaired an emergency meeting of PTI’s parliamentary party during his visit to Lahore. The meeting focused on launching a protest movement.
The parliamentary party also passed a resolution, endorsing the party chief’s call for setting up a commission headed by the chief justice. The resolution stated it was time to launch a serious political movement both inside the legislative house and in the domestic political arena.
“If they don’t form the commission, we will have to come out on the streets,” Imran said. He added the entire nation should join him in the protests which would be staged in Raiwind, not Islamabad.
PM Nawaz, according to him, should have resigned on moral grounds. He also urged the PM and his family to declare their assets. Instead of using his aides, he said, the PM should respond to allegations himself.
Imran Khan demands commission headed by CJP to probe Panama Papers revelations
Criticising the PML-N leaders’ attacks against Shaukat Khanum Hospital, he said: “Instead of responding to allegations, they level allegations against others,” he said. Clarifying the hospital’s position, Imran said it was a trust and all of its assets had been declared.
The PTI chief has also asked Pakistan Television’s (PTV) management to make arrangements for his ‘live’ address to the nation on April 10.
This is the first time in the country’s history that an opposition leader has asked the state-run television to broadcast his address to the nation live. PTI’s information secretary, Naeemul Haq, wrote a letter to PTV’s managing director S M Imran Gardezi, requesting him to make necessary arrangements.
Imran Khan will use the opportunity to respond to the allegations made by the ruling party’s leaders in connection with the Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
The letter pointed out that PTV -- the country’s largest terrestrial television network -- is run only on taxpayers’ money which made PTV a truly public entity.
However, the government has rejected PTI’s request: Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid told news media that only the president and prime minister enjoyed the privilege. Former managing director of PTV Athar Waqar Azeem told The Express Tribune that there was no precedent in PTV’s history when any opposition leader was granted permission to address the nation. He said that there were no specific rules or procedures which restricted leaders of the opposition from addressing the nation over the state-run channel, because it was the discretion of the information ministry.
Opposition chief writes letter to speaker
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah has written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, requesting him to take action against the PTV management for the April 7 “blackout” of opposition parties.
The opposition leader said that no coverage was given by PTV to opposition leaders during its reporting of the debate in the NA on the Panama Papers. He asked the speaker to take action in this regard.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told the media later that he had not received the opposition leader’s letter. But he claimed that he would take action upon receiving the same.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2016.
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