ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan made it clear on Friday that with or without opposition parties he is ready to take to the streets if the government remains adamant in its stance of not allowing Panama Papers leaks investigations against the prime minister and his family members.
Unlike his 126-day sit-in at the Constitution Avenue when he preferred to go solo on every issue, Mr Khan said during the presser on Friday that he preferred a joint opposition anti-government movement as long as they all shared the “anti-corruption agenda.”
However, he kept his focus on arguments as far as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family were concerned by asserting that “after the Panamagate scandal they have lost the moral authority to be in government and my party will opt for every legal forum to challenge them.”
At the same time, there wasn’t much change in his stance towards the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) despite the fact it’s an incomplete body after all its four members completed their stint earlier this month, and new ones are yet to be appointed. The PTI leader said: “The ECP continues to behave like a PML-N commission, ever ready to do the government’s bidding.” Mr Khan said that election investigation judicial commission had underlined 40 findings about rigging in the general elections, but so far no action had been taken.
Speaking to media persons alongside Yasmin Rashid, who earlier in the day filed a reference in the ECP as a PTI candidate from NA-120 against the winning candidate Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for hiding assets, Mr Khan said if the ECP didn’t take up the reference his party would be left with no option but to go to the Supreme Court.
When asked if the PTI intended to move a similar reference with the Speaker of National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the PTI chairman said he would not because the speaker belonged to the ruling PML-N.
Replying to questions if his anti-government movement was meant to derail the current democratic set-up, Mr Khan referred to the famous Magna Carta in the UK which was meant to bring the king under the rule of law, and said that ongoing efforts were to make the prime minister accountable to the law. “Across-the-board accountability will only strengthen democracy in Pakistan,” asserted Mr Khan.
Unfortunately in Pakistan political party leaders ran governments like kingdoms and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was no different, said Mr Khan, and answering a related question he said, following the same custom Maryam Nawaz Sharif could become the ruler, despite the fact that cases had been proved against her.
To another question, the PTI leader said at the moment the government was in no mood for accepting opposition ToR, and offering its own versions to protect Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family. In case the parliamentary committee on Panama Papers failled, opposition parties would be independent to chalk out their separate strategies, but if they could agree on one point anti-corruption, anti-government agenda they could join hands, said Mr Khan.
Madressah Haqqania: In response to a flurry of questions regarding allocation of Rs300 million by the KP government in its annual budget for the madressah of Maulana Samiul Haq, famous for his close association with Afghan Taliban, the PTI leader said: “Although it’s entirely provincial government’s decision, I don’t see anything wrong in it.”
He said if the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would not take care of its over two million madressah students, who else would come to mainstream their education system. This was strange, said an irritated PTI leader, that on the one hand under the National Action Plan, the provincial governments were asked to reform religious schools, and on the other such a decision was being criticised.
Mr Khan said it was the same Maualana Haq who on his insistence not only supported polio eradication campaign, but personally participated in it which helped the KP government make it a successful venture.