Home Latest News Imran Khan’s Long March against Establishment, Not Government: Maryam Nawaz

Imran Khan’s Long March against Establishment, Not Government: Maryam Nawaz

PMLN leader alleges Interior Ministry has intelligence the PTI has amassed weapons and tear gas to use against law enforcement agencies

by Newsweek Pakistan

Screengrab of Maryam Nawaz’s press conference in Lahore

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s ‘Azadi March’ was against the country’s security establishment and not the government.

“When he says he has recognized the real faces of Mir Jaafar and Mir Sadiq, do you think he is referring to Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif, or Shehbaz Sharif? … the threats he is issuing is not to us, but the establishment,” she told a press conference from Lahore after the coalition government announced it had decided against allowing the PTI’s long march to occur due to a perception it could lead to violence.

The PMLN leader accused the ousted prime minister of launching “a malicious campaign targeting the judiciary, in which abusive words were used against the judges” after the Supreme Court restored the National Assembly and ruled in favor of a no-confidence motion that led to his ouster. “But when the Supreme Court took a suo moto notice against Shehbaz Sharif, you started praising them,” she said.

“I want to request the courts to not set a tradition of giving verdicts in favor of people who abuse courts,” she said, adding that decisions should be in favor of the people and the nation. Referring to a recent hearing in which Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said judges followed social media, she advised the judiciary to “refrain from monitoring social media and traditional media as well.”

Perception of violence

Referring to the ‘Azadi March,’ Maryam said the government was concerned about the PTI’s plans, as it had received intelligence that its workers had amassed weapons to use against law enforcement agencies. “They have amassed weapons, shells of tear gas, and planned other things against law enforcement agencies. The Interior Ministry has intel regarding this,” she alleged, adding that the death of police constable Kamal Ahmad in Lahore after a PTI worker opened fire on him proved this.

“I think the person responsible for the murder of the constable is Imran Khan. Both the person who took the life of the constable and their mastermind—Imran Khan—will not be spared,” she vowed.

“I will ask [prime minister] Shehbaz Sharif and [interior minister] Rana Sanaullah not to arrest Imran Khan … let him come to Islamabad and hold a sit-in. We’ll see how long he can sit there,” she said.

Referring to Khan’s calls for women and children to join the PTI’s march, the PMLN leader regretted that the PTI chairman instigated Pakistan’s youth to place their lives at peril while keeping his own children safe in London. “A son of the soil—constable [Kamal Ahmad]—was martyred today. What is the difference between Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, and the sons of Imran Khan, Qasim and Suleman? The only difference between them is that they are Imran Khan’s sons,” she said.

“Since they are Imran Khan’s sons, they will live abroad, and no one will touch them. They will remain in a safe and sound environment, while the sons of the soil—who spent their entire lives serving the country—will take bullets to their chests just because a person’s desire for power does not end?” she said, adding that Khan should remember that a revolution begins at home and tell his children to join him in standing on the front line instead of hiding behind supporters.

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