ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: The opposition on Thursday reacted sharply to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation in which he ruled out the possibility of another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to bail out the ‘corrupt’.
Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat-Ulema-Islam-F (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman advised the prime minister to refrain from hurling threats at his opponents, saying his mandate to rule the country was “fake”.
Addressing a news conference in the federal capital, Fazl asked, “Who has asked for the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance)”.
The infamous NRO was promulgated in October 2007 by the government of the then president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Under the ordinance, cases against politicians were removed, paving the way for many to their return to the country.
“Listen with open ears, do whatever you like, if you want to hold protest on a container, we will provide you a container and food or do your antics in the assemblies, but it should be clear to you that there will be no NRO. No corrupt will be spared as I had promised to the people not to let them walk free,” the prime minister had said in his address.
Alluding to the reference, Fazl said, “The PM’s language shows that mentally he is still standing on a container.”
He termed the accountability process “politically motivated” initiated by the establishment and added politicians were never afraid of difficulties and jails. “If opposition leaders and I surrender today, all the cases will stop.”
The JUI-F chief said 75 per cent work to unite the opposition parties had been completed and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has sought three days to respond to his invitation to participate in an all-party conference (APC).
Reacting to PM’s speech, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq said the feeling of joy the prime minister had exuded after securing loans from Saudi Arabia showed as if he has captured Kashmir.
Speaking at a conference he said, “Is going to the IMF the change we are told of?”
When asked for his reaction to the prime minister’s address to the nation, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was attending an accountability court hearing in connection with the Flagship reference, said, “I do not watch TV these days.”
Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said Imran Khan should provide the details of the Saudi loan and apologise to the nation for breaking his promise of not going to the IMF.
“Who has asked him for an NRO?” she questioned.
In Peshawar, Awami National Party former senator Zahid Khan while interacting with the media in Dir district asked the prime minister to take parliament into confidence on the terms and condition of the loan taken from Saudi Arabia, as “his words don’t reflect what he agreed on with the Saudi government”.
He said it was strange that despite securing loans from the Saudi government, he (the prime minister) still felt the need to knock at the doors of the IMF.
PPP’s Central Information Secretary Dr Nafeesa Shah said that the government should take parliament into confidence regarding the conditions of economic package taken from Saudi Arabia.
In a statement issued, she said that the coalition government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was talking about taking ‘handsome package ‘from the Saudi government but has not so far informed about the details of the economic package to the opposition.