Imran extols SC verdict for ‘salvaging’ nation’s morality

Emboldened Imran urges top court to hear corruption cases of Sharif family

Our Correspondent May 17, 2022
Imran Khan is addressing a rally in Kohat. SCREENGRAB


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling on dissident lawmakers for “salvaging” the nation’s flagging morality which he alleged had come under attack from the PMLN-led coalition government.

The former prime minister, who was muscled out of power through a parliamentary revolt earlier this year, welcomed the apex court’s much-awaited judgement, saying he was thankful to the top court for delivering a verdict against those who “trade their votes and betray their constituents and democracy” and stemming the further deterioration of the moral standards.

"I am grateful that the Supreme Court rejected the votes of the people who sell their vote and betray their constituents and democracy," the former premier said while addressing the party’s power show in Kohat on Tuesday.

The apex court’s verdict, which ruled that the votes of defecting lawmakers will not be counted, has come as a shot in the arm for the former ruling party that is poised to take the great leap to federal capital to ratchet up pressure against the government.

Khan’s praise for the Supreme Court also marked a slight shift in his post-ouster narrative that leaned into the combative line against the judiciary, asking it why it decided to throw open its doors in the dead of night on April 9 when the fate of a no-trust resolution against him hung in the balance. He has been unsparing in his vehement criticism of the events and decisions that led to his ouster through a vote of no-confidence.

'Corruption cases of Sharif family'

Emboldened by the Supreme Court's verdict, which the PTI leaders announced to the charged crowd, Imran requested the top court to now hear PM Shehbaz and his family's corruption cases on a daily basis as “the government had destroyed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)”.

The PTI chairman said if the Sharif family and others get a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) now, then no one will fear looting the country and dacoits will rule.

"Supreme Court judges, it is your responsibility to hear their cases."

Imran also urged the Supreme Court to order an inquiry into the recent death of FIA officer Dr Mohammad Rizwan, who died of an alleged cardiac arrest.

Boot-polish charge

Earlier in his address, Imran continued his scathing attacks on the PMLN-led coalition - an assemblage of political rivals who took it over from PTI after a no-confidence vote - for ingratiating itself with the United States and the military. He accused his successor Shehbaz Sharif of “polishing boots” of military and the US to grab power.

He said Shehbaz desperately wanted to become prime minister and had gotten an achkan made for himself, but now, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was "enjoying" the government.

"PML-N is on the receiving end of the criticism while Zardari is enjoying that," he said.

“The government will now approach the United States for help and seek money on the pretext that Imran will come to power if the amount was not provided,” he claimed.

Immediate elections

The ex-premier also dialled up on his demands to lead the country to fresh elections, describing it as the only demand his party fought for.

"We just want one thing and that is immediate elections. We do not accept this America-backed government," he told the crowd.

Imran said he was "carefully planning" the date of his upcoming Islamabad march and would unveil it in days to come.

‘Neutrality not excusable’

Playing up the term “neutral” again in his speech – a thinly-veiled reference to the establishment – the former prime minister claimed there were two kinds of people in the country: "one, who are trying to fix the problems faced by the country, and the others who have been looting the country for 30 years".

He stressed Allah had asked us to choose between these two options, adding neutrality was not allowed by God.


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