ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday got into a Twitter spat with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over pointing fingers over senior military and intelligence officers, with the former arguing if the military officers were “above the law”.
It was actually PM Shehbaz who had criticised the former premier a day back for his rant against the senior military officers, tweeting: “Imran Niazi’s act of routinely maligning and threatening the Pakistan Army and Intelligence Agency for the sake of petty political gains is highly condemnable”.
The PM went on to say that Imran’s levelling of allegations against a senior intelligence officer without any proof could neither be allowed nor tolerated.
After an assassination attempt on the PTI chief in Wazirabad last year, Imran had held PM Shehbaz, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and a senior intelligence official responsible for the bid to assassinate him and demanded their resignations.
Since then, several PTI leaders, including the chairman, have reiterated that the attack was part of a “well-coordinated” plan executed by at least three shooters to eliminate Imran.
A joint investigation team, formed by the Punjab government, had reportedly concurred with Imran’s claims that the attack was carried out from three different shooting sites. The team, which has been reconstituted twice, was headed by Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar.
But earlier in January, the government formed a new team to probe the attack, a move that was rejected by the PTI.
Most recently, in a PTI rally on Saturday, Imran had once again reiterated his claims and named those he believed were behind the Wazirabad attack, after which PM Shehbaz called him out.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Imran Khan hit back at the prime minister, asking if as a citizen of Pakistan he did not have the right to nominate those he felt were responsible for the assassination attacks on him.
“Why was I denied my legal and constitutional right to register an FIR?”
“Does SS [Shehbaz Sharif’s] tweet mean military officers are above the law or that they cannot commit a crime? If we allege one of them has committed a crime, how is the institution being maligned?” he questioned.
“Who was so powerful to sabotage the Wazirabad JIT (joint investigation team) while the PTI government was still in power in Punjab?” questioned Khan.
The PTI chief also mentioned the clashes at the Islamabad Judicial Complex on March 18, where he had appeared before the court for a hearing of the Toshakhana case. During the day-long fiasco, the federal capital had turned into a battleground as the police and PTI supporters came face to face.
Subsequently, Imran had alleged that assassins had been placed outside the judicial complex with plans to kill him.
Reiterating the same in his tweets today, he said: “Can Shehbaz Sharif answer why the ISI took over ICT Judicial Complex evening before my appearance there on March 18? Why were ISI personnel in CTD and lawyers camouflaged? What was the motive and what business did ISI have in the Complex?”
He then said that when the PM did find the answers to these questions, they would all point to “one powerful man and his accomplices all being above the law”.
“It is time for us to officially declare that in Pakistan there is only the law of the jungle where might is right,” Imran concluded.