Opposition slams PM’s Washington speech

Published: July 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal on Monday strongly criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for his policies particularly his speech to a gathering of the overseas Pakistanis in Washington.

Iqbal said Khan in his Sunday address in the US capital repeated his usual diatribe, promises and accusations, which sounded as if it the speech was “delivered by a politician and not by the prime minister of a country.
“Imran Khan should have addressed like a representative of the people of Pakistan but his speech was like the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI),” Iqbal said at a joint press conference with PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Dr Mussadik Malik.

In his address, Khan mention the incarceration of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is serving a seven-year imprisonment at Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore in a corruption case. Khan had said that he would ensure that the former prime minister did not get any preferential treatment in the jail.

Iqbal said that Khan, instead of outlining national issues and foreign policy matters, repeated the “same old political rhetoric” he used to rely on while in the opposition. “Imran Khan is so obsessed with Nawaz Sharif that despite being in a foreign country he is unable to forget him,” he said.

“Whether he is in Pakistan or Washington, all Imran Khan can think of is Nawaz Sharif,” he said, adding that the prime minister had also admitted in his address that former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested on his orders.

Accusing the government of “using national institutions for political gains”, Iqbal said:  “It has revealed once again that the so-called accountability is a vengeful agenda of the government.” He added: “It would have been better to see if the prime minister had spoken about the country.”

The PML-N leader also defended the former PML-N government against allegations of corruption. He said that his party had initiated a large number of development projects. He also dubbed the arrest of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as a vindictive measure.

Earlier in the day, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto also took to Twitter to declare that Prime Minister Imran Khan is “a ruler, not a leader”.

The PPP chairman said that the country needs a leader who speaks for all Pakistanis, not just himself.

“Pitty [sic] even when representing our country abroad the selected prime minister can’t get off his container,” he said. “If the government does opposition and the opposition does opposition then who’s left to run the country?” he asked.

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