Thursday Jul 18, 2019
LAHORE: The Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, said Thursday the incumbent government's failure and incompetence were being associated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Speaking at a press conference here in the city alongside other party leaders, Sharif said an attack was launched at the PML-N through collusion with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrested from Thokar Niaz Baig in a graceless manner.
Quoting Abbasi, the PML-N president explained that the ex-premier was not worried at all, asked to be shown the order, and said they could arrest him. However, upon Abbasi's demand for the arrest warrant, the NAB officials were clueless.
With measures such as these, Prime Minister Imran Niazi was aiming to divert the public's attention away from the real issues, Sharif said, using the incumbent premier's last name instead of the popular 'Khan', and added that he had killed the country's economy in the past 11 months.
"Imran is trying to hide the destroyed economy with these arrests," the former Punjab chief minister said.
Sharif commented on how Abbasi had a pivotal role in ending the gas load-shedding and how the consequent resumption of gas and power led to improvements in businesses and employment.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his team, too, were under pressure, he said, but they never hiked up the prices because he knew and sympathised with the country's poor.
The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) dictation was not accepted during Nawaz Sharif's tenure, he said, adding: "What is Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's crime? He's a loyal ally of Nawaz Sharif.
"If there's accountability, where is the accountability? Where's the clean accountability of 'Naya Pakistan'?
"It's just political revenge in the guise of accountability. The accountability is just being carried out just on either the PML-N or the PPP [Pakistan People's Party]," Sharif added.
With regard to the countrywide, shutter-down strike of Pakistan's trading and business fraternity, the PML-N president said his party did not join it as they wanted to show the government that there was nothing political about it.
"We also did not participate [in the protests] because we wished for the government to know that it was the traders, businesspersons, and industrialists who are being forced to protest," he noted.
Criticising the incumbent prime minister, Sharif said Khan had defamed Pakistan around the world and so "why would anyone invest in the country?"
The Opposition leader further said: "Despite such concerning situation, Imran Khan continues to claim how this person or that person is a thief and how he wouldn't let them go."