ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party said on Friday that Imran Khan had become a security risk and urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to try him under Article 6 of the Constitution.
The PPP also said that Imran Khan would have to answer on sale of treasury gifts and foreign funding.
“Imran Khan’s job was to save Pakistan, not just the PTI. He spoke of Pakistan’s nuclear assets at a rally questioning the safety and integrity of assets when he should have been seen protecting them rather than implying Pakistan was a rogue state,” said parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Senate Sherry Rehman while addressing a press conference along with PPP leaders Nadeem Afzal Chan, Faisal Karim Kundi and Nazir Dhoki here on Friday.
Mrs Rehman said that the PTI had preferred its own agenda to the safety and security of Pakistan and put foreign policy at risk. “When you take an oath to the country, you promise to put it before your own interest; Khan is making Pakistan pay the price for his disregard for the sanctity of the oath. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship; you cannot label those who oppose you as traitors,”she said.
The senator said the PTI had tried to divide the country for its gains by feeding this conspiracy narrative to the nation. “The PPP welcomes the statement made by the DG ISPR wherein he had unmasked numerous lies,” she said.
She said the PTI had been claiming that the formeropposition colluded with a western power to bring about the end of the PTI’s government through the telegram that Khan had dressed up as a conspiracy.
However, she said now it had been clarified there never was any conspiracy despite what Khan and his government had been trying to claim. “We have been insistent on a vote of no-confidence from the start,”she said, adding Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the PDM meeting in September, 2021, had stated that the PPP would move for a vote of no-confidence.
She said the US had reiterated for the third time now that it had no involvement in the internal affairs of any country and that it focused on maintaining relations with nations, not political parties.
Mrs Rehman said Pakistan navigated its own independent path in the international community and the PPP had done it many times before.
She said when the Salala incident had occurred, the PPP government suspended NATO supply lines for seven months until then secretary of state Hillary Clinton issued an apology to Pakistan.
“We had closed the Shamsi Air Base, all the while staying neutral in the Syria vote despite pressure and suspended Nato supply lines without losing any capital and maintaining stable ties with the US,” she said. She said the PTI had tried to push the country into a corner and this was not the mindset of a patriotic and democratic government.
“Imran Khan made a scandal out of ‘Absolutely not’, which was a baseless outcry when in reality no bases were asked from his government,” she said.
She said Imran Khan’s constant attempt of pitting the masses against each other by speaking of how it is us or them is greatly flawed. Senator Sherry Rehman said the government needs to work in cohesion with others.
“In a democracy we are all working together for the greater good,” she said. She said the governments and diplomats by the very nature of their state craft need to engage in positive and proactive work to encourage trade and investment opportunities not to constantly be on the defensive.
She said Imran Khan during his regime had single-handedly managed to alienate friends and foes alike. “In his three and a half years in power, Imran Khan did not seem to learn that when a country has diplomatic relations with another country, you cannot bring your own politics into it, you only prioritise the national interests,” she said.
She said Imran Khan’s need to mobilise the masses by fabricating a conspiracy from a routine diplomatic cable was extremely regrettable. She said:“Khan has not condemned the youth from burning Pakistani flags and tearing up passports. Has the PTI leadership said anything against this heinous act, which undermines the whole identity of our nation.”
She said Imran Khan is under the misconceived notion that he is Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto; Bhutto selflessly gave his life for the nation. He was the man who decided to keep the secrets of the state even when they cost him his life, not wave them at a rally to cling to his seat.
The PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate said Imran Khan and his leadership’s modus operandi are one where the highest priority is given to them. “Is Khan saying he believes Pakistan cannot survive if he is not in power. Is his, and his leadership’s ego really that inflated that it seems they believe Pakistan is dependent on them and it is them who are above the nation,” she asked.
She said the international community has no worries about Pakistan’s handling of its nuclear protocols. She said: “We have repeatedly stated that if there really was a conspiracy, which Imran Khan had gone through the proper means to prove, we would have stood with him.”
Instead, she said when he realised there was no way to save himself from being constitutionally and democratically removed, he waved it at a rally and concocted a conspiracy against Pakistan.
Senator Sherry Rehman said when the state institutions and the judiciary themselves took action, and the verdict was against him, he decided to label them as traitors as well. “He is undermining the sanctity of our institutions. Who is he to hand out traitor certificates?” she remarked
She said it is apparent that there is nothing left which he won’t bring down to save himself. In a reply to question, Senator Sherry Rehman said peacefully protests are the right of every citizen, but Imran Khan is damaging the democratic sanctity of Pakistan.
“The PTI is simply upset due to the true neutrality of the state institutions and the establishment,” she said. She said the coalition government simply wants to end the PTI’s era of hatred and chaos.
Faisal Karim Kundi said the PTI is trying to sell false narrative. He said the PPP does not believe in political revenge, but Imran Khan will have to answer on sale of treasury gifts and foreign funding.
He said the PPP is ready for by-elections. “We are ready to go to the polls after the electoral reforms,” Mr Kundi said. Nadeem Afzal Chan said that nowadays imported narrative was being made, Shaukat Aziz was an imported prime minister and most of the PTI members were part of the Shaukat Aziz cabinet.