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Opposition questions timing of Sharif’s tirade against institutions

Opposition questions timing of Sharif’s tirade against institutions

LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: The opposition has questioned the timing of the ousted prime minister’s tirade against state institutions, especially when the country is facing challenges on the international front in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s anti-Pakistan tweet.

At a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, Nawaz Sharif threatened to spill the beans about his four years in power if they [the army and judiciary] do not stop political wheeling and dealing.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari asked Mr Sharif to sack those involved in hatching conspiracies against him.

Talking to reporters at the wedding ceremony of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s daughter at a hotel in Islamabad, he, however, said no conspiracy was being hatched against Mr Sharif and, therefore, he had nothing to expose against anybody. “He has nothing to expose. What will he unveil against his own government?”

The PPP co-chairman said if any conspiracy was hatched against him, Mr Sharif should have taken the opposition into confidence about it four years ago. “If there was any secret, he should have called the opposition and shared it with them four years back.”

Zardari says if there was any conspiracy the former prime minister should have taken the opposition into confidence

When asked if the PPP was being supported by the establishment in the next general elections, he said: “We have never been brought into power, but Nawaz Sharif has always been.”

Mr Zardari said the PPP was fully prepared for the next elections and he would address a public meeting in Mirpurkhas on Jan 5.

Raja Pervez Ashraf said on the occasion that Mr Sharif should know that maligning state institutions would result in a loss to Pakistan and the masses, particularly when many enemies like Trump were attempting to bring the country under pressure.

He urged Mr Sharif to give up raising his personal matters at this critical juncture taking a clue from the PPP leadership, which never attacked the courts despite the “judicial” murder of Z.A. Bhutto and “unlawful” incarceration of Asif Zardari.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi wondered at the timing Mr Sharif has chosen to vent his anger on “petty personal” matters.

“Mr Sharif’s statement reflects his anger and frustration on being disqualified for corruption by the judiciary,” Mr Qureshi said.

“At a time when we’ve to give a message of unity to the world pronouncing that no adventurism or unilateralism will be acceptable, Mr Sharif has strengthened hands of the enemies of the country by attacking the state institutions,” he said.

The PTI leader said the corps commanders’ conference, the meeting of the National Security Committee and convening of a special sitting of the federal cabinet depicted that the country was facing a serious situation after Mr Turmp’s tweet.

He said the prime minister had himself underlined the criticality of the time by calling for a joint session of parliament, but lamented that the PML-N chief’s own statement negated the impression that he was sensitised enough about the seriousness of the situation.

PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry, at a press conference, called upon Mr Sharif to give details of his visit to Saudi Arabia and claimed that he had already accepted his defeat in the next general elections.

“The nation is still waiting for Nawaz Sharif’s detailed reply to know the reason of his and Shahbaz Sharif’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia,” he added.

He asked why the Sharif brothers were called by the Saudi government amid investigation being launched against them in Pakistan regarding Hill Metal Establishment whose headquarters was in Saudi Arabia.

“The body language of Nawaz Sharif and the anger he showed at his press conference confirmed that the Sharifs gained no support from the Saudi royal family during their recent visit,” he added.

The PTI leader said the former prime minister had admitted that all previous elections were rigged and a ladla (blue-eyed) politician was made victorious and that a stage was being set for the victory of PTI chairman Imran Khan in the next general elections.

“Nawaz Sharif has already accepted his defeat in the next polls instead of giving courage and winning spirit to his party workers,” he added.

He said Nawaz Sharif should also tell the nation who was ladla in the previous polls that had been won by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the PPP.

“We have been asking Nawaz Sharif hundreds of times in the past to tell the nation who is hatching conspiracies against him, but he is reluctant to say anything about it and maligning the army and the judiciary,” he said.

Responding to a question about the recent tirade of Mr Trump against Pakistan, the PTI leader said the US administration took this step because of failed foreign policy of the PML-N government. “If our rulers keep their bank accounts in the US and children in the UK, then how it is possible that our sovereignty will not be compromised,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2018

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