Pakistan’s prime minister directs party spokespersons to issue ‘befitting’ responses to opposition demands
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday slammed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the all-parties conference a day earlier, claiming it “promoted” an Indian agenda.
Addressing a meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf spokespersons, he referred to Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder Altaf Hussain in claiming “once again a fugitive sitting in London is maligning the state institutions.”
During his speech, Sharif had said the opposition’s battle wasn’t against Khan; rather, it was against “those who imposed him on us.” He also hit out at the military’s interference in civilian rule, alleging there was a “state above the state.”
Khan cited Indian media’s coverage of Sharif’s speech in alleging that it had reflected Delhi’s aspirations. He claimed that India wanted to vilify Pakistan’s state institutions during the ongoing U.N. General Assembly, which commenced on Sept. 15 and would continue until Sept. 30. India, he added, wanted to distract global attention from its human rights abuses in India-held Jammu and Kashmir.
Detailing his monitoring of Indian media, the prime minister claimed it had been “spewing venom” against Pakistan since Sharif’s speech and vowed that his government would “not allow anyone to malign our institutions.”
Khan also condemned the united opposition’s all-party conference, reiterating his claims that it was an attempt to cover their financial corruption. “I had predicted much earlier that they all would unite for personal interests,” he said, and urged the spokespersons to respond to the opposition’s demands in a “befitting” manner.
“Countries like Libya, Iraq and Syria have been destroyed because they didn’t have strong militaries,” said Khan, claiming this was the only reason Pakistan had survived.
The opposition on Sunday announced the launch of the Pakistan Democratic Movement, and issued a 26-point charter of demands. It has demanded the “immediate” resignation of P.M. Khan and warned that if he does not step down, it would commence a mass protest movement that would culminate in a long march toward Islamabad.