Imran’s breakup comment ‘naked threat’ to country: Sharif

ISLAMABAD: A day after former prime minister Imran Khan expressed fear of a recurrence of the 1971-like tragedy if the right decisions were not taken to save the country, his successor, Shehbaz Sharif, warned him not to cross the line by giving such “naked threats”.

In an interview with anchorperson Sami Abraham for Bol News, which aired Wednesday night, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman likened the prevailing political situation to the one which had led to the dismemberment of the country in 1971 and urged the military establishment to make the “right decisions”.

He also warned the generals if Pakistan were to lose its nuclear deterrence, it would fragment into “three parts”.

“[…] Imran Niazi is making naked threats against the country. If at all any proof was needed that Niazi is unfit for public office, his latest interview suffices,” the prime minister, who is in Turkey on a three-day visit tweeted, responding to Khan.

“Do your politics but don’t dare to cross limits and talk about [the] division of Pakistan.”

In a separate statement, shared on the Twitter account of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, he said Khan’s remarks were evidence he was “involved in a conspiracy, not politics”.

He said the former prime minister was spreading “chaos” due to his “frustration and sick mentality”, and that his statement was similar to those of Pakistan’s enemies.

“This is not a statement but a conspiracy to spark the fire of anarchy and division in the country,” he claimed.

“Losing power does not mean that you wage a war against Pakistan, its unity and its institutions,” he said, warning Khan not to “attack” the federation and the institutions. “Don’t exceed the limits [defined] by the law and Constitution.”

The prime minister said the nation would not accept such “nefarious” plans at any cost and would not let them succeed. He vowed to defeat such “impure” aims.

Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the statement and said no one can talk about the breakup of Pakistan.

PPP MP and Minister for Water Resources Syed Khurshid Shah said Khan stood exposed. “I have always said he was introduced into politics under an anti-Pakistan agenda,” he claimed.

Senator Irfan ul-Haque Siddiqui of PML-N said the “indecent remarks” damaged his public and political persona of life.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, he said the language used by Khan did not suit a man of his stature as he had been prime minister of the nation.

He said former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was sent to gallows and his daughter Benazir Bhutto was assassinated but their party never spoke against the federation in such a manner.

He said it was a positive development that Pakistan Army decided to confine itself within the constitutional parameters.

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