Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday hit back at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for accusing him of vilifying the army, saying that he was well aware of the importance of key state institutions.
During his speech in the National Assembly earlier in the day, Shehbaz criticised Imran for his comments regarding state institutions the other day and said that action should be taken against him within the ambit of the law and the constitution.
The PM reiterated that if Imran’s comments were not clamped down on then “nothing would be left” and there would be a crisis in the country.
He also lambasted the PTI chairman for taking the country in a direction where democracy could be eliminated.
Addressing a gathering of party leaders in Islamabad, Imran hit out at Shehbaz, saying, “He (Shehbaz) is a liar. He is unable to speak the truth. He says that Imran Khan vilified the army… I have a rally in Jhelum where I will give you (Shehbaz) an answer about the extent to which I insulted and what you traitors did with the country.”
He claimed that Shehbaz and his brother were Pakistan’s “real Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafar”, accusing them of transferring money gathered through corruption abroad. “These are the people responsible for the current state of the country,” he said.
He also hit out at the new government for saying it had come into power during tough times, saying in reality it was the PTI government that faced a tough time. He further said that “criminals” had now assumed positions of power and questioned how a country would run when such people were at the helm. Turning his guns on the Sharif family, he said Nawaz used to badmouth the army when he fled abroad, while Maryam Nawaz was also doing the same.
“Look at who was happy after they came into power. India celebrated the most as they were coming and I was going,” he said, adding that Nawaz also met Indian premier Narendra Modi in Kathmandu to conspire against the country and its institutions.
“My life and death belong to this country… I do not have any properties abroad. I don’t have any bank accounts and I will not flee to London with my tail between my legs. We have to stay here and [are] aware of the need for strong institutions.” The PTI chief said the incumbent rulers would face a strong public reaction wherever they visited, adding that people would refer to government leaders as “traitors and thieves”.
He reiterated his demand for early elections and called upon citizens to be ready for the call to march on Islamabad after May 20. Earlier in the day, Imran launched a mobile application as part of a campaign aimed at expanding the membership of the party.