Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Sunday that legal action will be taken against former premier Imran Khan for delivering an “anti-state speech” in a public gathering in Abbottabad earlier today, saying Imran’s speech was “a grand conspiracy against Pakistan” and its institutions.
In a statement released late on Sunday night, the prime minister said that the ex-premier was pushing the country toward “civil war” and warned that all his “nefarious designs” would be crushed at all costs.
The premier’s statement has come on the heels of military spokesperson’s statement warning politicians, journalists and analysts against dragging Pakistan Army and its leadership in the country’s political affairs, saying that the practice is “extremely damaging”.
While calling Imran as Hitler, Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq, PM Shehbaz accused him of “concocting a narrative against national institutions”, saying the former ruler was not doing politics but busy conspiring against the country and its institutions.
PM Shehbaz said that “those concocting a narrative against national institutions were the real Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq” – the names that Imran has frequently used in his speeches to label PM and others as “traitors”.
PM Shehbaz said the state, Constitution and the “respected institutions of Pakistan” were challenged by Imran Khan in Abbottabad on Sunday. “He assured that legal action would be taken against Imran,” the official statement read.
Shehbaz said what Imran was doing could only be categorised as conspiracy and not politics and the conspiracy was not against any political rivals but against the country. “Pakistan cannot be surrendered and compromised over one person’s ego, arrogance, and blatant lies,” Shehbaz said, adding “Imran first conspired to destroy economy of the country and was now planning to trigger a civil-war in Pakistan.”
The statement said that PM Shehbaz “pledged that these nefarious designs of Imran would be crushed at all costs.” PM said that “Imran was this era’s Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq who wanted Pakistan to face the same fate as Libya and Iraq”, saying Imran incidentally also has a fake certificate of Sadiq, like Mir Sadiq.
Shehbaz said that Imran was digging holes in the very boat he was riding and biting the hand that feeds him, adding that “the people of Pakistan, the Constitution, and the institutions of Pakistan were not slaves of Imran Niazi, nor could he hold them hostage.”
Slamming Imran’s speech, Shehbaz said that “Imran would not be allowed to become the Hitler of Pakistan.” He added that “Imran lied to the nation all the time, it’s about time he faces the truth.”
This is the first time that the incumbent prime minister has issued a strong-worded statement against the former premier and accused him of running a fabricated conspiracy against institutions and the country that he recently ruled.
Promising legal action, Shehbaz has come to the defence of the state institutions that have been severely criticised since Imran Khan-led government was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion successfully executed in the National Assembly last month.
Since then, ex-PM and PTI chief has held several public rallies in different cities and questioning the role of judiciary and the powers that be regarding his departure. Also, Imran has been frequently labeling the other side as “traitors and corrupt rulers” allegedly imposed at the behest of the United States of America.
Since his ouster, he has blamed the US for conspiring against his government – a stance that the incumbent government has refuted.
Addressing Abbottabad rally, Imran claimed that more than three million people will march on Islamabad when he will give the protest call to the nation after May 20.
The deposed premier once again said only animals were neutral in remarks apparently aimed at the military leadership, who didn’t take side when he was ousted from power in a no-trust move last month.