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Bilawal asks army to clarify NSC proceedings

Shehbaz alleges PM has enforced ‘civilian martial law’

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday urged Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar to “clarify the proceedings of the 37th National Security Council (NSC)” meeting held last week.

In a tweet, he alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan is using a “foreign conspiracy” to justify his “coup”.

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The PPP chairman questioned whether the Foreign Office or the Defence Ministry produced any “official correspondence between (March) 7 and 27 on the foreign conspiracy.

In a separate press conference, he urged the Supreme Court to “stop Imran Khan’s coup” and form a “full-court bench to address the political crisis”.

In a joint media talk later in the day, he called the dismissal of the no-confidence move “suicide for Imran Khan” and his party.

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In his address, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that Imran Khan had enforced “civilian martial law”.

The PML-N leader, questioning the ruling party’s allegations that the no-confidence motion was backed by foreign interest, asked why the speaker of the house did not raise any objections on March 24 when the motion was added to the agenda.

Shehbaz said that if a threat was made to Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan on March 7, why was no objection made earlier?

“Ambassador Asad Khan tweeted that on March 16 US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu invited him for dinner for which the ambassador took to Twitter to thank him.”

“If the threat was made on March 7, why did the ambassador thank the US Secretary on March 16?” Shehbaz questioned, claiming the ambassador’s actions were contradictory.

Meanwhile, sources said that the military leadership had told the NSC meeting that they had no evidence to suggest the US had threatened or was involved in the conspiracy to seek the ouster of the PTI government.

However, the NSC after the meeting had issued a statement expressing serious concerns over the non-diplomatic language used in the cable, saying it was tantamount to interference in the internal matters of Pakistan. The NSC then decided to issue a demarche to the US.

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