Imran Khan says ‘jobless’ politicians are out to dislodge him

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed the recent formation of an anti-government alliance—Pakistan Democratic Movement—a coalition of corrupt and jobless politicians whose one point agenda is to cover up their corruption by not conforming to the rule of law.

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While addressing a seminar organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legal wing, Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF), Khan came out swinging on the opposition parties, particularly former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and alleged that the PML-N and its leadership were working on the Indian agenda of weakening Pakistan’s institutions.

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PDM issues schedule of anti-govt rallies

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The main opposition parties’ alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has already given a schedule for its public meetings, first in Gujranwala on Oct 16. Gujranwala public meeting will be followed by Karachi’s public meeting on Oct 18, then Quetta on October 25 and Multan on Nov 22.

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Khan challenged the PDM leaders to do as many ‘Jalsas’ (public gatherings) as they liked but he warned in case of violating law they would be put in an ‘ordinary and not a VIP jail.

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The prime minister said the PML-N wanted to turn the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) into a force like the Punjab Police. “They control all the law-enforcing institutions except one and they know the ISI is aware of all their theft. They try to control it and that’s where the conflict started,” said Khan to a cheering audience mainly of lawyers.

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He said since Nawaz Sharif was not clean, he could not respond to the then Director General of the ISI Lt Gen (R) Zaheerul Islam who reportedly demanded Sharif’s resignation.

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“Sitting in London and asking the people to take to streets is meant to show that the past rulers, who had looted the country for 30 years, are above law,” said Khan.

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Rule of law important in a civilized society

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The prime minister, while terming the rule of law the basis of a civilized society, said the ruling elite class had caused irreparable losses to the national economy through plunder and corruption during their tenures.

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Those leaders, he said, were maligning the government, the army and the judiciary, in order to get relief in the form of an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance).

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Khan said that the deposed prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif had issues with every army chief because he wanted to cover his corruption but the ISI knew everything about his ill-gotten wealth. “If I too start laundering money” out of the country, the ISI would find out about it before anyone else would “because it is the world’s top agency,” said Khan adding the spy agency knew he was doing his job well.

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PDM is opposition parties’ last hope for NRO

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Khan said that the PDM was the latest attempt by the opposition to obtain an NRO-like agreement. He drew parallels between the PDM and the opposition’s attempts to “blackmail” the government over the passage of legislation concerning the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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“The day they get an NRO would start the downfall of Pakistan,” he added. The prime minister also spoke on the PDM’s demand for restoration of real democracy. “I am Democracy as I was elected after bagging the most votes in Pakistan and won from five constituencies,” said the PM.

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Referring to the opposition’s allegation of the vote having been stolen in the 2018 elections, the prime minister said if there had been rigging, his party would not need a coalition to form a government.

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