Alleges PM Nawaz Sharif brokered a deal with Zardari
ISLAMABAD: Breaking his weeks-long mysterious silence, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday alleged that the bail to PPP’s Dr Asim Hussain, Sharjeel Memon and model Ayyan Ali were part of an underhand deal between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari.
“PTI preferred to wait for the Panamagate verdict, but we can’t remain silent on the bail granted to Dr Asim, Sharjeel Memon and Ayan Ali. They are all involved in corruption and we can’t remain silent anymore,” Khan said while addressing media at his Banigala residence following a party meeting.
Khan, who was flanked by other senior PTI leaders, alleged that both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari were involved in money laundering and after the heat of Panama case, the prime minister had been under immense pressure which made him strike a deal with Zardari’s party.
When asked that the three accused – Asim, Sharjeel and Ayyan – had been allowed bails by the court and not by the government, Imran Khan referred to the statement of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who had a month ago claimed that the PPP mediating team was asking the ruling party to direct the prosecutor general of the NAB not to oppose the bail pleas of Dr Asim and others.
“Only Dr Asim is accused of siphoning away Rs 480 billion. This is not a meager amount. The entire budget of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is Rs 183 billion. This is the taxpayer’s money. We will not allow looters to plunder the national exchequer and leave (the country),” Khan said.
He said that while the entire nation was awaiting the court’s judgment in the Panama case, the PTI could not allow anyone to silently siphon off public money and exit from the country.
“Both Nawaz and Zardari are on the same page as regards the plundered wealth. But we will not allow this to happen,” he said, and added that even Asif Zardari had returned after the deal.
“This is interesting to note that Nawaz Sharif is visiting Sindh while Zardari has camped in Lahore. Both are actually facilitating each other. Nawaz Sharif announced mega projects in Hyderabad but no one knows from where the allocation would be made. Both are just fooling the public,” he asserted.
Khan said on the other hand, Zardari was now declaring 2013 election as a poll rigged by ROs (returning officers). “It is interesting to note that the PPP chose to strengthen the PML-N government to ‘save democracy’ when PTI staged sit-in against poll rigging (in 2014). Now Zardari says it was an election rigged by ROs,” Khan pointed out.
He said since both Zardari and Nawaz were involved in money laundering, they had shared interests and both were helping each other. He alleged that Zardari and Nawaz were one on the Panama case too.
Taking a jibe at Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Khan said that before the 2013 elections, Shehbaz was addressing rallies promising to hang Zardari with electric poles and taking out all looted money.
“But when the PTI staged a sit-in, the same Sharif invited Zardari to Raiwind Palace and seventeen dishes of food were served to the man who was time and again called the most corrupt politician,” he recalled.
Khan alleged that a corrupt prime minister was destroying the state institutions, adding that Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif could not go along together in the future. He hoped that the Supreme Court verdict in the Panamagate case would end political career of Sharifs.