Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz on Thursday said it was better for her party to quit the incumbent coalition government than impose further inflation on the public, which she stressed was a result of the policies of the ousted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government.
Addressing a rally in Sargodha alongside Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, she said it would be easy for the PMLN to agree to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s demands for the withdrawal of subsidies on fuel products and unleash a new wave of inflation. But, she emphasized, her father and party leader Nawaz Sharif would prefer to relinquish charge or place additional burdens on the people.
“I am with you,” she told a charged crowd. “I believe it’s better to say goodbye to the government” than take on the burden of the “flawed’ policies of the PTI-led government.
Maryam said the government was being continuously asked why it chose to come into power for such a short time if it were unwilling to take “harsh” decisions. “We assumed the charge because Imran was prepared to rig the next elections,” she alleged, explaining the reasons for the need to oust the PTI-led government. “We toppled his government and failed the plan that he had made for the next 12 years,” she claimed.
Slamming the PTI chairman for linking the prices of chicken to Hamza Shehbaz’s poultry farms in recent speeches, she alleged that the prices had actually increased because of a shortage provoked by “tons of chicken meat being burnt on the roof of his Banigala residence.”
Branding the ousted prime minister as a “snake,” she accused him of biting the hand that fed him by turning on the armed forces. Referring to his calls for families of Army personnel to attend his party’s long march on Islamabad, she questioned if this was so they would be “forced to listen to his swearing against their chief.”
She also alleged that the PTI chairman was abusing media despite it having “made him what he is today.” Khan criticized all media channels except ARY News, she said, alleging it “attacks state institutions because his close friend—ARY owner Salman Iqbal—is a gold smuggler … Imran gave him a benefit of up to Rs. 40 billion [while in power], and both are protecting each other.”
Stressing that Pakistan could never progress so long as Khan was present in the country, she said it was now incumbent upon all stakeholders, including the Army, the judiciary and the media to stop the “curse” whose name is Imran Khan.
Hailing the Supreme Court of Pakistan for setting aside former deputy speaker Qasim Suri’s ruling as “a historic decision,” she said the apex court had “protected” the Constitution. “Since that day, he [Khan] has been running a campaign against the top court on social media and cursing them,” she said.
However, she noted, now that the Supreme Court had taken suo moto notice, Khan was once again heaping praise on the courts. On Wednesday night, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took suo moto notice of the “perceived interference” by “persons in authority” in the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters against officials within the incumbent government.
“I thank the court for taking the notice against Shehbaz Sharif. But, one suo moto notice should also be taken on serious allegations levelled by ex-FIA head Bashir Memon,” she said, referring to Memon’s claims that Khan was trying to utilize the FIA for political victimization during his tenure as prime minister. Similarly, she said, suo moto notices should also be taken against former accountability czar Shehzad Akbar and the foreign funding case against the PTI, which has been pending for seven years.