Friday, June 03, 2022
BUNER: PTI Chairman Imran Khan Friday warned the government against filing a treason case against him after reports emerged that key officials were mulling over the idea.
Top federal government officials deliberated over going ahead with filing treason charges against Khan and the chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, respectively, over PTI's May 25 "Azadi March" during a special committee meeting of the cabinet.
"Can Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif file treason cases against me? All of their properties are in foreign countries," the PTI chairman said, claiming that Zardari had sought the United States' help against the Pakistan Army.
"And can Nawaz Sharif — who has bought four properties worth billions in London — decide whether I am a traitor?" Khan said, adding: "The only reason the government is against me is that they know once I am out of the way, it makes it easier for them to siphon the country's money to foreign countries."
The PTI chairman claimed the coalition government — which he maintains was formed with the help of a US-backed conspiracy — knows that the people were still backing him, therefore, they have now decided to file a sedition case.
He added that he has "neither broken the law", "nor have any of his actions been against the law". He stressed that his 126-day sit-in in Islamabad was "peaceful".
"I never want to break the law and do not want to spread anarchy [...] we never wanted to get into clashes with the army, rangers, or police," the ousted premier said.
Khan also took the government to task for the back-to-back increase in the price of electricity and petroleum products, saying it has "dropped an atom bomb of inflation on the nation".
The ousted prime minister said during his 3.5 years in government, the petrol prices were hiked by Rs56, but during the present government's "60 days in power", it has gone by Rs60.
The PTI chairman said his government increased electricity per unit by Rs6 and the present government has hiked it by Rs10 in just two months.
Khan said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had pressurised the PTI government as well to increase the price of power and petroleum products, but there was a difference between him and the present government — "all their" leaders reside out of the country.
Khan said that the present government leaders do not have "any stake" in Pakistan adding that it was the reason why they were accepting the demands of the international money lender.
"What do they care? They are the US and the IMF's slaves. They take dictation from abroad and take all the decisions in line with foreign directives," the PTI chairman added.
A day earlier, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced moving up the price of petrol by Rs30 to Rs209.86, a few days after increasing the rate of the commodity by the same amount.
Ismail, in a press conference, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved hiking the price of petrol, diesel, and light diesel by Rs30 per litre, while the rate of kerosene oil has been hiked by Rs26.38 per litre, effective from June 3.
The hike in petrol prices and the increase in the rate of electricity were prerequisites to the revival of the stalled IMF programme — which the finance minister expects to be finalised by this month after necessary reforms.
Moving on, the PTI chairman added that he would not bow down to a superpower on an "imported government".
He claimed that the incumbent government did not have an economic plan, they just came into power to "end their corruption and National Accountability Bureau cases".
"Now, all of their [cases] will be dismissed, and they will get NROs."