Imran hits back at PM Shehbaz, dismisses allegation of army’s vilification


ISLAMABAD, MAY 9: PTI chairman Imran Khan on Monday hit back at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for accusing him of vilifying the army, saying that he was well aware of the importance of key state institutions.

During his speech in the National Assembly today, PM Shehbaz criticised Imran for his comments regarding state institutions the previous day and said that action should be taken against him within the ambit of the law and the Constitution.

The prime minister reiterated that if Imran’s comments were not clamped down on then “nothing would be left” and there would be a crisis in the country. He lambasted the PTI chairman for taking the country in a direction where democracy could be eliminated.

Addressing a gathering of party leaders in Islamabad, Imran hit out at PM Shehbaz, saying: “He (Shehbaz) is a liar. He is unable to speak the truth. He says that Imran Khan vilified the army. Tomorrow, I have a rally in Jhelum where I will give you (Shehbaz) an answer about the extent to which I insulted and what you traitors did with the country.”

He claimed that Shehbaz and his brother were Pakistan’s “real Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafar”, accusing them of transferring money earned through corruption abroad. “These are the people responsible for the current state of the country,” he said.

He also hit out at the new government for saying it had come into power during tough times, saying in reality it was the PTI government which faced a tough time. “They had left behind a current account deficit of Rs20 billion,” he said, while highlighting the achievements of his government.

Imran further said that “criminals” had now assumed positions of power and questioned how a country would run when such people were behind the helm.

Turning his guns on the Sharif family, he said that Nawaz used to badmouth the army when he fled abroad while Maryam was also doing the same.

“Look at who was happy after they came into power. India celebrated the most as they were coming and I was going,” he said, adding that Nawaz also met Indian premier Narendra Modi in Kathmandu to conspire against the country and its institutions.

“My life and death belong to this country, I do not have any properties abroad. I don’t have any bank accounts and I will not flee to London with my tail between my legs. We have to stay here and aware of the need for strong institutions […].”

Imran said a “group of corrupt rulers” had assumed power with the help of foreign elements, adding Israel, India and those behind fueling Muslim sentiments through blasphemous caricatures were among the happiest on his exit.

The PTI chief said the incumbent rulers will face a strong public reaction wherever they visited. “There is extreme resentment among the public on what happened with the country and the toppling of the elected government.”

He lamented that Donald Lu, a man with the rank of a secretary, was ordering the elected government to remove the prime minister. “I challenge them to send a similar letter to India and see reaction.”

The PTI chairman stated that the “foreign plotters” knew PM Shehbaz was going to be the next premier, hence they assured Pakistan of “forgiving” the country once the change in power took place.

Imran said people would refer to the government leaders as “traitors and thieves”. He also reiterated his demand for early elections and called upon citizens to be ready for the call to march to Islamabad after after May 20.

PTI launches mobile app to expand membership drive

Earlier in the day, Imran launched a mobile application as part of a campaign aimed at expanding the membership of the party.

Addressing the ceremony, he urged people to join his party using the “PTI Raabta” mobile application. Imran said his party wanted to make the most of the modern technology, adding “through our Raabta App, we will be able to collect data and engage with our supporters who can help us in ticket allocation too.”

He also conceded that the party suffered setbacks in the past through the wrong distribution of tickets.