—Premier says opposition working on Indian, Israeli agenda
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he will talk to his British counterpart Boris Johnson, if needed, to bring back Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif to the country.
In an interview with a private television channel on Friday, the prime minister said that Nawaz, the convicted former prime minister who was allowed to fly to London for treatment last year, had always enjoyed the support of the establishment and courts.
The premier said that the federal government is in talks with the British government for the deportation of Nawaz because the extradition process could take time. “We will bring him [Nawaz] back and throw him in jail,” he added.
He also said that he would also visit the United Kingdom “if it is necessary for the repatriation of Nawaz Sharif”.
Responding to a question, he said that the opposition is trying to blackmail him but he made it clear that no NRO will be given to convicted people. “Some of my own party men get worried when they see opposition parties’ politicians staging rallies and doing pressers against the government and I even heard some cases were registered against them [opposition politicians] after current rallies but I feel it is wrong, it will be punishing them for crimes they did not commit. Protest is their right, their real crime is corruption and for that, I have zero tolerance,” said PM Imran.
He said that Nawaz’s narrative is supporting India that can damage Pakistan’s national interest.
He also alleged that the opposition is working on the “agenda of India and Israel” and playing at the hands of enemies of Pakistan.
The premier said that Israeli and Indian lobbies are working for the opposition parties. “Indian media that is propagating fake news of civil war in Pakistan and my ouster is portraying Nawaz Sharif as their hero,” he said and further asked as to why their media is presenting Nawaz as a hero and criticising the armed forces of the country.
PM Imran said that even Israel is afraid of the Pakistan Army as they knew that it is a super power. “Who is attacking personnel of the armed forces, which led to the martyrdom of 22 security personnel in a day, and trying to create a sectarian rift in the country,” the prime minister asked and blamed that both India and Israel wanted to destabilise the country.
Premier Imran said that both Nawaz and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, tried to “blackmail” him. “They used the FATF bill as a bargaining chip but when they failed, they are now trying to put pressure on the army,” he added.
He further said that the incumbent government is repaying foreign debt which is $10 billion per year while the PML-N government paid $5 billion whereas the PPP government paid $2.5 billion dollars per year.
While putting light on the meetings of some PML-N leaders with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the premier revealed that he knew about “these meetings in advance”.
“General Bajwa was telling me that they [PML-N] leaders were coming to meet him. I think he should not have met him. What did we gain from this? Now they are using the language of our enemies. We have to decide whether we want to forgive them or not. One thing is clear, even if I am in my grave, I will not give them NRO.”
Talking about the Bundle Island issue which has created rift between the province and Centre, PM Imran said that initially the Sindh government granted the federal government permission but later withdrew it. “We did not need it [permission] because the area comes under the federal territory. Despite this, we obtained an NOC from them,” he said.
Talking about PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s corruption, he said the evidence of Rs23 billion corruption has been found in his two cases. He said that PML-N’s pressure game against the military and judiciary is aimed at demanding NRO from the prime minister.
The premier reaffirmed his commitment to uplift the poor segment of the society on the pattern of Riyasat-e-Madina (State of Medina). He said, “It is a challenge for our government to make this country independent economically.”