Cases cannot be avoided by dodging law, attacking institutions, Imran’s arrest not political: Marriyum
ISLAMABAD, Aug 06 (DNA): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that cases cannot be avoided by dodging the law, evading the courts and attacking national institutions.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest has nothing to do with politics, nor it was an act of political vendetta, she said during an exclusive interview with BBC World.
” Peaceful protest is a democratic right of any political party or worker, but no protesters came out on the arrest of chairman PTI as people cannot be fooled every time, courts are there”.
The minister said that the legal procedures were completed in the Tosha Khana case against Chairman PTI, and on the completion of his trial, the court announced a verdict on which he was arrested.
She said that Chairman PTI failed to present evidence in his defense, he was accused of abuse of power, but he could not answer questions when asked about state gifts.
She said apart from this, four more cases of theft of 190 million British pounds, cipher, May 9 tragedy and foreign funding case are also in the trial courts against Imran.
In response to a question, the minister said that no one can be given impunity for misuse of powers.
She said that the arrest of Imran Khan has nothing to do with the elections, he was arrested on the order of the court. He said that when three-time elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested, the elections of 2018 were very close, he was arrested along with his daughter and sent to jail.
Marriyum said that when in power Imran Khan jailed all political rivals during his tenure. He misused their powers, used NAB and FIA for the witch-hunt of his political opponents but the present government did not indulge in such tactics.
She said that the law took its course though Imran Khan kept running away from the law, he did not answer the questions of the court and was found guilty by the trial court.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that whenever the court summoned him, the situation worsened in Zaman Park, the judicial complex was attacked, then there was also the May 9 tragedy.
She said that when the court saw that dishonesty was proved beyond any doubt, it issued its verdict.
The Federal Minister of Information said that one has to be accountable for one’s actions in the law, it has nothing to do with politics, Imran Khan masterminded the May 9 mayhem, instigated party workers to attack sensitive installations, attack national institutions, hospitals, schools and ambulances.
She said that there were also attacks on Capitol Hill in the United States and all those who were involved in them have been punished irrespective of their status. She said that a person who has been proven guilty in court has to be arrested.
In response to a question, the minister said that during the investigation process in the trial court, Imran Khan was given ample opportunities through 40 hearings but he appeared only three times and could not provide any proof in his defense.
On another question, the federal minister of information said that the arrest of Imran Khan cannot be compared that of Nawaz Sharif.
When allegations against Nawaz Sharif were levelled, he as prime minister, he wrote a letter to Supreme Court for his accountability. He appeared in day-to-day hearings of NAB court for 150 times.
No one burnt any ambulance, hospital, mosque or school during protest against Nawaz Sharif arrest, she maintained.
To a question, she said that the public cannot be hoodwinked every time, Imran Khan incited violence to avoid the law, provoked his workers who attacked the police, rangers and state institutions. He even used children and women as human shields to avoid arrest, she remarked.
She said that one has to draw a clear line on national interests, when there was an attack on Capitol Hill, whoever was involved was punished.
She said there should be a clear distinction between national interests and attacks on sensitive installations.
She said that Imran Khan has admitted that all this happened on his instructions, he was the mastermind of the entire incident of May 9, so it cannot be said that this crackdown was aimed at any political victimization.
The minister said that Imran Khan had targeted his political rivals for political victimization during his four years in office, when the first two rows of the parliament were in jail.
Replying to a question, the Federal Information Minister rejected the element of political aspect in the arrest of Imran Khan and said that no political process prevented Imran Khan from defending himself in the trial court.
Imran Khan should have presented evidence in forty appearances of the trial court.
She told the BBC that when he was asked about the state gifts, he said that the military secretary will know about the gifts because used to do the buy and sell them on my behalf.
When he was asked about the theft of 190 million pounds, he shifted the blame on his cabinet, when asked about the May 9 insurrection, he said his party workers should be answerable because they did everything, and when asked about the economy he blamed his economic team.
She said that Imran Khan was the Prime Minister of the country, he had the authority, he personally bought state gifts and did not disclose them in his tax returns. She questioned as to who stopped him from declaring these gifts in his tax returns and election commission forms.
She said the matter was transparent, it would have been mentioned in the asset declaration form.
The federal minister said that Imran Khan first sold the gifts and then bought them, and he did not even have the receipts.
She categorically said that the arrest of Imran Khan was not political, he could not answer any question in the trial court, and his theft and dishonesty was proved beyond any doubt,so he was arrested.
In response to a question about the workers’ protest over the arrest of Imran Khan, the federal information minister said that people cannot be fooled again and again. They know what political exploitation and victimization was and what was arrest for a crime.
She said that people have realized that no-one can deceive everyone every time. She said that since Imran Khan has been arrested no protest was witnessed anywhere and , now he was in jail.
She said that if people want to protest, they have the freedom to protest peacefully but so far no one has taken to the streets.
To a question, the federal minister said that the present government did not believe in arresting political protesters, it has a clear distinction. “We are not a fascist government like Imran Khan’s, we believe in democracy, we were victims of restrictions on freedom of expression”. She said Imran Khan was given the title of media predator by international organizations, but now Pakistan’s rating has been improved by 7 ranks.
He said that during the time of Imran Khan, the entire opposition was in jail, but during the protest they did not attack any hospital or school. Rather they held peaceful protests for miles, without attacking any building, PTV, Radio Pakistan, ambulance, or schools.
She said that this is a new trend, given by the PTI as she saw for the first time that a political party used petrol bombs against police and rangers.