June 3, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif censured his predecessor Imran Khan on Thursday, accusing him of “making naked threats against the country”, deeming him “unfit for public office” and warning him against “talking about [the] division of Pakistan”.
The prime minister made these remarks in a Twitter post that referred to an interview of Imran with anchorperson Sami Abraham for Bol News programme ‘Tajzia’ last night during which the PTI chief urged the establishment to make the “right decisions” and warned that if Pakistan were to lose its nuclear deterrence, it would fragment into “three pieces”.
In the interview aired Wednesday night, he said the current political situation was a problem for the country as well as the establishment. “If the establishment doesn’t make the right decisions then I can assure [you] in writing that [before everyone else] they and the army will be destroyed because what will become of the country if it goes bankrupt,” he said.
“I have never seen a person so desperate for power. He has lost his senses over losing power that was never his. He is disheartened over losing a seat that was never his. The mandate was never his and he had snatched it from the people, he snatched it in an unconstitutional, illegal and non-political manner, and people have taken it back in a constitutional manner.”
She also spoke about Khan’s remarks about the country breaking apart into three pieces. “A man saying such a things, those dreaming of Pakistan breaking into three parts, their party and politics will break into 300 pieces,” she added.
Imran’s remarks were also discussed in the Senate today, with Senator Asif Kirmani saying that Imran had “bipolar disorder”.
“Such patients are treated through electric shocks,” the senator said while the opposition protested his statement.
During his address in the house, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said Imran’s remarks had given rise to a “feeling of anxiety” in the country.
He said such a statement could not come from a person who had held the highest public office in Pakistan except when there was a “conspiracy”.
“This is the matter of Pakistan’s security,” he said. “The way the former prime minister has spoken is dangerous for national security.”
He reiterated that Imran’s statement was “dangerous” and went on to say that Imran had “lost his senses after losing power”.
“Pakistan comes first, politics comes after that,” he said, adding that the state of Pakistan would not be affected by a change of government.
PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gilani said Imran’s statements did not behoove the former prime minister and chief executive of the country.
“To say that the country will break into three pieces, you shouldn’t say this as a Pakistani. Then to say that the establishment or the army will be destroyed, [our] enemies say the same. Then to say that the country will go bankrupt and our nuclear assets will also be taken away, we condemn this,” he said.
He also said that the PTI should not have resigned from the forum of parliament, stating that the no-confidence move was a democratic and constitutional move.
‘Why this hue and cry?’
On the other hand, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill said Imran had been saying for a long time that efforts were under way to weaken the army and questioned why a hue and cry was raised on his recent statement.
“Imran Khan has been saying for long that our army is of utmost importance. There are efforts to weaken the army. If the army is weakened, we will face destruction just like Syria, Iraq and Somalia. If the economy is destroyed how will the army be run? If the army is not strong, who will let [us] have nuclear assets,” Gill said. “Why this hue and cry now?” he questioned.
Along similar lines, PTI leader Omar Sarfraz Cheema said in a tweet that Imran and the PTI had always “struggled for institutions’ respect and national interest”.
On the other hand, he continued, the “Sharif and Zardari gang” was involved in the “attack on Supreme Court, memogate and Dawn leaks”.
“The facilitators of the foreign conspiracy are scared of Imran Khan and the establishment’s natural alliance on the protection of national interest,” Cheema said.