Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has proposed a judicial probe into a series of allegations levelled by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf against each other to settle their bitter slanging match once and for all.
Addressing the media Thursday evening, Nisar asked PTI chief Imran Khan to choose judges of his liking to investigate allegations of tax evasion and money-laundering by the former cricket star and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.
Nisar, who belongs to the PML-N himself, had earlier this week accused Imran of not paying any taxes throughout his career as a cricketer.
Addressing the PTI chief, the opposition leader said, “Let’s go to any court of your choice, choose the judges you like and put your facts against our leadership on the table … we will do the same.”
“If what you say is true, you will be honoured by the nation …otherwise we will get the respect,” Nisar added, throwing a stiff challenge to the PTI chief whose party’s steep rise in recent months had been known to bother the PML-N.
“We will not let you run away from it … we will take it to the logical end because this is not something that can be settled through the media. This needs to be addressed at a proper forum,” he said.
The verbal sparring between the arch rivals started last week when PML-N stalwart MNA Khawaja Asif accused Imran of “gambling” away donations he received for building a cancer hospital, in the international real-estate market.
Imran refuted the claim and hit back with equally high-sounding allegations against PML-N leaders, accusing them of evading taxes and plundering the national wealth during their regime to acquire property in London and establish businesses in the UK and Saudi Arabia.
In fact, the PTI chief was the first to announce a plan for taking legal action against Khawaja and Nisar. However, there has been no follow-up from the PTI camp so far. Nisar said Imran was not ready to approach the court against the Sharifs since he does not have any proof and his allegations were based on a book written by author Raymond Baker, carrying corruption cases of all Pakistani leaders including President Asif Ali Zardari.
“Imran challenged to sue us in the court and is now running away from it. He should apologise to the nation for levelling false allegations,” Nisar said, referring to PTI chief’s earlier remarks against the Sharifs based on Baker’s book.
The opposition leader further questioned why Imran chose to stay mum over the alleged corruption of President Zardari and military generals, as claimed in the book.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.