The Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has made it clear that its target is not the People’s Party (PPP) rather its main objective is to get rid of Prime Minister Imran Khan and seek fresh elections.
In the wake of the recent spat between the PML-N and PPP leadership over the NA-133 by-elections, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal maintained that his party did not want any confrontation with other opposition parties, including the PPP.
“Let me make it clear that the PPP is not our target. Our target is Imran Khan Niazi, his fake system and seeking fresh and fair elections,” Iqbal said at a press conference at the party’s provincial headquarters in Model Town in Lahore on Saturday.
“We will not react to whatever statements Zardari sahib gives (against the PML-N leadership).”
A couple of days ago, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif had advised PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari not to target former premier Nawaz Sharif. The former president, during his visit to Lahore in connection with the NA-133 by-elections, had taunted Nawaz, saying: “Those who do not wish to die in their homeland can do nothing for the country.”
Reacting to the statement, PML-N leader Tallal Chaudhry, who is considered close to Maryam Nawaz, made some disparaging comments about PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, while party MNA Ali Pervaiz Malik, the son of winning candidate from NA-133 Shaista Pervaiz, also used harsh language about the PPP leadership.
Tallal, however, on the directions of the party leadership regretted his choice of words about the PPP leadership in a video statement.
The PPP is of the view that the PML-N leadership has panicked after seeing its (PPP) comeback performance in NA-133. PPP’s Chaudhry Aslam Gill secured more than 32,000 votes against PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz, who bagged 46,000.
Continuing jab at the premier, the PML-N secretary general said: “Imran Niazi is running the foreign policy similar to that of former US president Donald Trump. Niazi, being arrogant and vindictive, can never become a statesman.”
He also asked the prime minister to tell people about the gifts he received from foreign heads of state. “The embezzlement of gifts received by Imran Khan from foreign states is earning Pakistan a bad name. Being sadiq and amen, the titles he received from former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, Imran should not hesitate in providing the list of gifts,” he said and asked the premier to provide receipts of the foreign funding.
Earlier, on a petition, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also questioned the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government over its “reluctance to disclose” details of the gifts presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan since he assumed office in August 2018.
Ahsan also asked PM Khan to tell people why he was paying nominal income tax despite living in a 300-kanal palatial house in Banigala. “Who is affording the expenditures of his house?” he questioned and claimed that it was borne by the mafias who had been allowed by the premier to operate with impunity and make money in sugar, flour, medicines and other areas.
“Imran Niazi has given himself and his cronies NRO [relief, in reference to the National Reconciliation Ordinance] through ordinances to manipulate the accountability system so that in the future no one can lay hands on him and his ministers for their corruption,” he said, alleging that Imran Khan had destroyed the economy and his inability to govern could be seen in every sector.
“In the three-year rule of the PTI, the [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor] projects have been destroyed,” he lamented.
The former interior minister asked the head of Rangers to take note of its personnel ‘manhandling’ PML-N workers and him in Karachi. “Imran Niazi used the Rangers for his politics. The image of the state institution has been tarnished through this act. The head of the institution should look into this matter as to why it was used for political purposes,” he demanded.
He also asked the premier to visit Gwadar to redress the grievances of the locals who had been protesting for several days.