ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan has termed the recent controversial remarks of former premier Nawaz Sharif an effort to ‘please international establishment’ demanding he should be tried for high treason for discrediting Pakistan internationally.
On Monday, Khan uttered his strong response in a news conference to Sharif’s recent interview to a local daily newspaper where he had talked about the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, perceived by many as furthering Indian narrative over the matter.
Terming Sharif’s statement as “well thought out” Khan said it is in continuation of anti-army narrative that former premier had been building since long and is primarily aimed to win yet another underhand deal on the pressure of international community to get rid of pending corruption cases against his family.
“Indeed, he [Sharif] has appealed the international establishment to save him from Pakistan army. He is trying to portray his helplessness in front of country’s establishment,” PTI chief alleged demanding around four immediate actions against PML-N supremo including a trial under Article 6 of the Constitution besides placement of his name on the no-fly list.
“Sharif’s statement is in violation of the oath he took as a PM; he should be proceeded under Article 6,” Khan demanded.
He criticised Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for supporting the ex-premier’s controversial remarks by asking them to resign and said investigation agencies should probe Sharif family’s possible business interest in neighboring India.
While reading out excerpts from the interview he said it’s similar to the Memogate scandal where former Pakistan Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani had requested to save former president Asif Ali Zardari from Pakistan army.
Khan said Sharif’s statement should be understood in the broader context of prevailing national and international situation.
“Sharif’s narrative is aimed to isolate Pakistan internationally,” he lamented and said the Indian media reiterated Sharif’s statement claiming it has been proved that Pakistan army was involved in Mumbai attacks.
During the media talk he also recalled the issue of amending the clause of the constitution pertaining to the ‘finality of Prophethood’ saying the report is yet to become public.
Khan asked that if Sharif was aware about Pakistan’s involvement in Mumbai attacks then why did not he investigate the matter when he was in office. “If he was reluctant on some pressure then why did not he resign,” he questioned.
Moreover, he called it a move to avoid the judgment against the family in the ongoing trial “You [Sharif] are aware that a damning judgment is about to come in the first week of July against you and your family in Panamagate case,” he said.
Khan claimed that Sharif wants to get another NRO like the one granted to his family by former president (retd) Gen Pervez Musharraf.
“I challenge you that if today he is promised another NRO by abolishing corruption cases against him and allow him to fly to some other country he would forget everything and praise all state institutions,” Khan said.
He said the statement would adversely impact indigenous struggle of Kashmiris against India. “Sharif through his statement has caused irreparable damage to the Kashmir cause,” Khan observed.
He said Shehbaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had still been supporting Nawaz Sharif. “I want to ask whether PML-N is a political party or a corruption syndicate aimed to protect their leader,” he said adding that Pakistan is already on FATF’s grey list and now this statement would make the case stronger against Pakistan.
PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the occasion urged the PM that he should address National Assembly to clarify his position before parliament either he is with Pakistan or supporting anti-Pakistan narrative of Nawaz Sharif.
Qureshi said PTI would contact entire opposition in order to develop a national consensus over the matter as Sharif’s statement would have grave consequences for the country.