LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday requested Chief Justice of Pakistan to form a full-court commission to investigate the attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Wazirabad the other day.
Addressing a press conference here, the PM said, “The chief justice should form a full court commission to end this chaos and evil. If my appeal is not listened to, questions will be raised in future.” He said a judicial investigation into the incident was vital to bring the truth before people.
“I will appear in the court whenever you will ask me to come,” PM Shehbaz said, maintaining that he will write a letter to the chief justice to form a full court soon. The PM said he would accept the (commission’s) verdict. The PM said he would suggest the same commission also probe journalist Arshad Sharif murder case.
The PM said the commission formation would be beneficial for the country and the nation. He said that on the request of the armed forces, the federal government would play its part and take action over fake accusations as it was his duty.
The prime minister questioned Khan for his annoyance at the judiciary, stating that he always went against it whenever not favoured. “You accused the prime minister, interior minister, and a military official. I will quit politics if proven to be part of the conspiracy,” the premier said. At the start of the presser, the premier condemned the assassination attack on Khan and told journalists that he had cancelled his presser on the day he returned from China in the wake of the incident.
The prime minister extended his wishes to Khan and other injured in the attack for a speedy recovery, and prayed for the victim who was shot dead in the attack. “The attack is condemnable, however, when the nation is being pushed towards devastation by false narratives, it is my responsibility that I play a positive role to protect people,” he said, urging the PTI chief to present evidence to support his allegations.
PM Shehbaz further said that Khan is damaging the country through his “false and cheap conspiracies”, adding that he was also building negative narratives against the institutions. During the presser, a video was shown to the journalists which had a compilation of Khan’s clips since 2011 where he could be heard speaking about the army and military officials.
The premier maintained that if Khan successfully shows evidence to the people that he was behind the attack, then “I don’t have a right to continue to hold the Prime Minister’s Office”. PM Shehbaz said it would be “injustice if courts, nation act as silent spectators when Imran Khan’s allegations against institutions, government prove false”.
Speaking about the allegations of assassination levelled against him, the premier said: “The Punjab government is yours, you have a special branch, you have the Intelligence Bureau and other agencies. Ask them to investigate.
“On October 28, the federal agency wrote a letter to the Punjab government about threats of terrorist attacks on Khan’s long march,” the premier said, adding that it was the provincial administration’s responsibility to ensure safety after the letter was shared with them.
The premier said that the Punjab government should be asked about the incident and about the delay in registering the first information report (FIR).
“It was the Punjab government’s responsibility and they should be held accountable for the incident.”
PM Shehbaz added that the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the chief secretary belong to them (the Punjab government), then why have not they conducted a forensic of the four bullets [which they are claiming have hit Khan].
Clarifying that he was totally against playing the religion card, but when Ahsan Iqbal was attacked in the name of religion, nobody asked about his well-being.
PMLN leader Ahsan Iqbal, who was an interior minister then, was injured after a young man opened fire on him at a corner meeting in his constituency in Narowal on May 7, 2018.
Reiterating his stance that Khan is levelling false allegations, PM Shehbaz challenged the PTI chief to present evidence proving the involvement of PM Shehbaz, Sanauallah and a senior army officer.
The premier maintained that if Khan successfully shows evidence to the people that he was behind the attack, then “I don’t have a right to continue to hold the Prime Minister’s Office”.
Recalling the incidents that took place since a no-confidence motion was filed against Khan earlier this year, PM Shehbaz reiterated that PTI’s government was removed in a constitutional manner.
Berating Khan for his “false conspiracies”, the premier called Khan out for criticising the institution which offered several sacrifices. “Nobody can say such ill things against this institution,” he added.
In response to a question regarding Senator Azam Swati’s video — which was surfacing on the social media — PM Shehbaz said that that had been brought to his knowledge and he had directed the Ministry of Interior to take notice. He vowed to bring the findings in front of people.
Criticising Imran Khan for his contradictory statements throughout his political career, the premier said: “Imran Khan’s tales are full of contradictions. I cannot, for even a moment, waste my time thinking that this man — who was granted a new life by Allah — is lying day and night. Today, he is attacking the Pakistan army in a way an enemy would do.” He regretted that the PTI chief was creating an environment of anarchy in the country.
The prime minister slammed the PTI chief for his comments against state institutions, particularly Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family and lamented about enemy nations celebrating the critical situation in Pakistan.
“What else would an enemy country like India want? They are celebrating today. India’s TV channels are excited to see Khan speak ill about the ISI and military institutions as [the PTI chief] is levelling severe allegations against them that one couldn’t even think about,” PM Shehbaz said, deeming Khan an “idol of lies — from tip to toe”.
“Unfortunately, he is trying to derail the nation. But this country of 22 million people will be protected by Allah.”
The prime minister spoke about the Rs10 billion Panama case filed against him five years ago following Khan’s campaign against the Sharif brothers and the PMLN.
“The case registered against me five years ago continues to be pending in the Lahore High Court till date. Several judges came and left, but his lawyers do not show up, even though it was being heard during their government,” the premier said, highlighting how the PTI-led government issued an ordinance to appoint retired judges to the accountability court — only to blackmail them and use them against the opposition.
“People like (former National Accountability Bureau chairman) Javed Iqbal were used. Tayyaba Gul was forcefully kept in the PM House and blackmailed through Iqbal, so that he could be used against us and for cases against them to be quashed,” PM Shehbaz said underscoring that his intentions were only to punish the PMLN.
“He damaged institutions, the economy, and foreign relations. I have certain secrets regarding the country’s foreign relations buried in my heart which, if I share, would leave you shocked. But I will not talk about it because I am faithful. I will not sacrifice Pakistan’s interest for personal gains,” the premier said while speaking about the damage Khan’s government had brought on the country.
The premier, while addressing journalists, said that he was aware of being questioned regarding the Model Town case.
“In the Model Town case, the trial court — during their regime — gave me and my colleagues a clean chit and the Lahore High Court also stood with the verdict.”He also questioned Khan’s corruption allegations against himself and the Sharif family with regards to the Multan Metro case, the $17 million corruption case which also maligned China, and the Daily Mail’s Department for International Development (DFID) story against himself published on Khan and his former aide on accountability Shehzad Akbar’s behest.