KOHAT: Advising Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to present himself for accountability, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said his party will not give up its demand for the premier’s accountability in connection with the Panamagate scandal.
“If the prime minister is not involved in corruption, then why he is running away from accountability?” he asked. “We will not step back and will keep struggling on until Nawaz Sharif and his family is held accountable,” Imran said, while addressing a public rally in Kohat’s Gulshanabad Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Imran said he was not afraid of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for a proposed panel to probe the Panamagate scandal and was ready to offer himself up for accountability. “Under the proposed ToRs, investigations [against graft] can be started both from Nawaz Sharif and me,” he added.
He said Nawaz could clear the matter just by answering four questions. Panama Papers, a trove of leaked documents, revealed in April that Prime Minister Nawaz’s three children were among hundreds of powerful people who stashed away money in an international tax haven. “However, the prime minister wants to defer the matter till 2018 – the year for the next general elections. However, we will not let them prolong the matter,” he said, adding that “if the premier is not held accountable then we will take to the streets once again.”
Imran said Nawaz Sharif had become a heart patient because of his children as one of his sons gave one statement regarding the Sharif family’s offshore holding while the other gave a different version.
“If they had been consistent in their statements, the premier would not have to face heart problems,” he said. Premier Nawaz is currently recuperating from an open heart surgery at a London hospital.
He said Pakistan needs a leadership which tells the truth, whose assets are not outside the country and who could live and die for Pakistan. “To use one’s government to promote personal interests is corruption,” he added.
The PTI chief said Nawaz has been complaining that his family business had suffered after he came to power. “But the fact is that before coming to power, he [Nawaz] had one factory but after remaining in power for 12 years he has 28 factories,” he claimed.
Presenting his party’s vision, he said the PTI will turn Pakistanis into a brave nation, which will offer financial assistance to other countries rather than borrowing money from them.
He said a revolution could be brought if Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) got enough supply of water. “K-P can not only become self-reliant in food but can also export it if the Chasma Right Link Canal is constructed.”
Hitting out at the JUI-F chief, Imran asked as to how long Maulana Fazlur Rehman could protect Nawaz. “The people should now use ‘diesel’ in their vehicles rather than giving their vote to it,” he said in an apparent reference to the Maulana.
Imran also announced a medical college besides seven road and infrastructure projects for the region. The rally was also attended by K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and PTI central leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2016.