Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said on Thursday the electronic voting machine (EVM) was a government ploy to rig the next elections.
Speaking informally to the media in the courtroom and later outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after hearing of her appeal against her conviction in the Avenfield reference case, the PML-N vice president fired a broadside against Prime Minister Imran Khan, calling him a “certified thief”.
“Imran Khan is a certified thief, who called other people thieves but couldn’t hide his own theft,” she said, as she referred to the prime minister’s speech during his sit-in in Islamabad in 2014. “He [Imran] himself had said that if petrol, flour and electricity are expensive then the prime minister is a thief.”
جو انسان اپنی کارکردگی پہ تکیہ نہیں کرسکتا جو ہر محاذ پہ بری طرح ناکام ہے چاہے وہ مہنگائی ہو معیشت ہو فارن ریلیشن ہوں خارجہ پالیسی ہو امن و امان کی صورتحال ہو تو ایسے میں وہ بیچاری حکومت الیکٹرونک ووٹنگ مشین پہ تکیہ نہیں کرے گی تو کیا عوام میں جائے گی.@MaryamNSharif pic.twitter.com/02IFjOhtWB— PML(N) (@pmln_org) September 23, 2021
Maryam Nawaz opposed the government-proposed electoral reforms. About the EVMs, she said these were like the RTS [Results Transmission System] used in the 2018 election. “Like the RTS, now another story is being fabricated in the name of EVM. Electronic voting machine is a new way of rigging.”
The PML-N leader also slammed the criticism of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the government ministers. She said that the ECP was being targeted because it pointed to the flaws in the EVM use and the inefficiency of the government.
When asked about the talk of extension in the tenure of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, she said that she would give her reaction when that time came. However, responding to a question, she said that she had no part in the extension of army chief.
About the show-cause notice issued to PML-N leader Javed Latif, she said that everyone had the right to speak but the party discipline should not be violated. She termed reports of Nawaz Sharif’s coronavirus vaccination “ridiculous”.
She also said that the opposition should highlight the issues facing the people. The PML-N vice president stressed the need for the country to stay away from the political and internal affairs of Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is an independent country…its decisions should be respected.”
Meanwhile, during the hearing of appeals by a two-member bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, the court was informed that senior lawyer Irfan Qadir would now represent Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar.
Read more PML-N, govt continue to battle over EVMs
PML-N leader Ata Tarar, who is a senior lawyer himself, requested the bench to grant the appellants four weeks’ time to prepare for a plea and bring new facts to court. However, Justice Amir Farooq said that this request should have come from Qadir. The court then adjourned the hearing till October 6.
Meanwhile, responding to Maryam Nawaz’s tirade against the government, State Minister for Information Farrukh Habib said that the PML-N vice president was taking refuge behind adjournments, just to escape the accountability process.
“Maryam Nawaz does not have any evidence to prove her innocence before the court in the Avenfield case, Habib told reporters here. “Therefore, she is using delaying tactics to further slow down the accountability process.”
Habib said her father Nawaz Sharif had already been at large after he was convicted in different corruption cases. “It is welcoming development that the money they have looted from the national exchequer is being recovered through auction of their properties in the country.”
(WITH INPUT FROM APP)
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