Stepping up her verbal attacks, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz accused former prime minister Imran Khan of detaining a woman at the PM House, when she went there to lodge a complaint against the then NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.
Maryam echoed the allegation levelled against PTI Chairman Imran by Tayyaba Gull during a recent TV programme, while addressing an election campaign rally in Sheikhupura.
She accused Imran of detaining the woman for one-and-a-half months, saying that the former premier took the video proof that the woman had with her. Imran, she said, used that evidence to his own advantage.
The allegations of serious nature have come to surface at the cusp of the by-elections in Punjab. The allegations in the interview were aired by a news network that the PTI sees as a media front of the PML-N.
When asked for comments, senior PTI leader Fayyazul Hasan Chohan responded with a five-second silence, followed by roaring laughter. Chohan refused to answer it, saying that he could not dignify this allegation with a response.
The former information minister in the Usman Buzdar-led Punjab government, said it was idiosyncratic of Maryam to stoop this low. He said that if they have any proof they should bring it to the fore and “then we will respond” to it.
Addressing the party’s election rally, Maryam alleged that Gull had gone to Imran with a video proof against the NAB chairman to seek justice. She added that Imran, instead of dispensing justice, took away the video and kept her at the PM House against her will.
The PML-N leader said that it was after that video, the cases against the PTI started getting shelved while the cases against the opposition picked up pace. She alleged that Imran blackmailed the NAB chairman, using the video he obtained from Gull.
Maryam lashed out at Imran for depriving the people of Punjab of electricity subsidy that Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz had announced. “Instead of replicating this model in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Imran went to court and got it suspended from the ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan).”
PTI’s Chohan vehemently denied the charge, saying that the party did not obtain any stay order against the chief minister’s package. It was the ECP, he said, that took cognisance of the matter and suspended its execution.
Also read ECP suspends Hamza’s power relief scheme
“However, we will not let Hamza run away from his promise. We will make him give this subsidy to the people of Punjab,” he said. He, however, alleged that this subsidy was a big sham, because no approval was sought from the provincial cabinet.
Maryam said that before starting her campaign, she was told by her party that the government had to increase the price of essential commodities, fuel and electricity because of the agreement Imran had made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The agreement with the IMF compelled the government to raise the cost of living, she said, acknowledging that things were tough at the moment. But, she added, she took solace in the fact that people were fully aware of those responsible for the current economic morass.
She said that there was good news that the prices of fuel were going down in the international market and soon people in Pakistan would heave a sigh of relief. “The PML-N has delivered on its promises before, and this time, too, it is busy steering the country away from the precipice of disaster.
She asked the people to vote for Mian Khalid Mehmood, a PTI dissident, who defected to the PML-N. She said that Mehmood returned the mandate stolen from the people of Punjab.
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