Friday May 27, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday criticised former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and said that by revealing that he and his party were not prepared for the so-called "Azadi March", he has accepted his defeat.
Speaking during a press conference in Islamabad, Aurangzeb said that Imran Khan and his supporters were not prepared for the march because the only preparation they had carried out was to assemble arms and sticks.
"They were preparing for a khooni (violent) march," she maintained, adding that PTI supporters were led astray because of Khan's false narrative.
"The only reason he returned to Bani Gala was that he had accepted his defeat and as against the claims of assembling 2 million people, he couldn't even mobilise 35,000."
"By the time he reached Islamabad, only 15 to 20 cars were accompanying his caravan," she said. "Khan, you should tell us what was stopping him from continuing his march. The Supreme Court had given you ago ahead for the march and there were no impediments. You kept on calling everyone to join your march but people were not interested."
She went on to say that those who advise Khan to hold press conferences are not competent people because instead of telling him to appear on TV, they should have told him to consume sleeping pills and go to bed.
Aurangzeb then chided the former prime minister for being responsible for the martyrdom of a police constable in Lahore and said: "The policeman took a bullet to his chest because of your politics of negativity."
The information minister was referring to the incident a few days ago when a constable was shot in the chest when he went to raid the house of a PTI worker in Lahore.
She added that Khan did not even have the courtesy to visit the widow and children of the martyred police constable.
"Imran Khan should apologise to the children of the martyred police officer," Aurangzeb stressed.
The information minister further added that Khan defied the orders of the Supreme Court and continued to move towards the federal capital's D-Chowk.
"While he did not reach the D-Chowk himself, he provoked his supporters to violate the apex court's order."
Speaking about PTI supporters, Aurangzeb said that the government respected their sentiments.
Moving on, Aurangzeb blamed Khan for the sudden hike in prices of petroleum products in the country and said: "When he learned about the no-confidence motion being tabled against him, Khan subsidised the prices of petroleum products."
She said that Khan was the one who had signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and he was the one who continued to subsidise the prices of petroleum products because which the PML-N government had to make the tough decision of partially removing the subsidies.
The government on Thursday had decided to partially remove subsidies from petroleum products in a bid to convince the IMF to revive its programme for Pakistan, one which is deemed crucial for resuscitating the country's economy.