Thursday, 2 December 2021

Now it’s Zardari’s turn to face accountability


ISLAMABAD: Declaring that their fight is not against Sharif family but corruption, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced yesterday that now it is PPP leader Asif Ali “Zardari’s turn” to face accountability.

Addressing a huge party crowd at Parade Ground here in connection with Thanksgiving Day, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman said that the ‘match’ was not over yet.

He declared to fight Shehbaz Sharif and Khaqan Abbasi, the two expected prime ministers respectively for the remaining PML-N term, after Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal as prime minister.

He dubbed Khaqan Abbasi as LNG Abbasi and added the PTI was after him.

“Why Shehbaz after Nawaz? Can they (PML-N) not find anyone else [other than a Sharif]? Is there democracy in that party?” he asked, and suggested that “the day Panama scandal surfaced, the party [PML-N] should have chosen some other person [to lead]”.

“Noon is a family party,” he observed, as he alleged the family of corruption. He expressed astonishment if democracy allows a situation where a man is prime minister, his daughter deputy prime minister, brother chief minister and nephew deputy chief minister. “Whole the Nawaz League has had to defend corruption of Sharifs,” he alleged.

He promised that soon after next general elections, there would be election in the PTI. Their party will be a party of merit, he vowed.

As he warned Shehbaz and Khaqan of PTI action against them, he also gave a warning to Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, saying “it is your turn after the Sharifs”.

“We have no enmity with the Sharifs; rather, our fight is against corruption,” he clarified. He said JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman will also be taken to task.

PTI chairman paid rich tribute to SC judges and JIT members, saying they have laid foundation of a new Pakistan and gave Pakistanis a new hope.

Khan said mafias either try to buy consciences or threaten others with dire consequences. “One cannot imagine how they (Sharifs) might have pressurised the SC judges,” he said. Khan said the PTI was criticised for approaching the SC.

“My workers were even disappointed. They were of the view that courts do not deliver justice [here in ours]. History bears the fact that courts never gave verdict against powerful. PPP and our political cousin, Tahirul Qardi also criticised us and they were of the view that PTI did a mistake by knocking door of the SC.”

“But the SC decision has given us a new hope. They [judges] have laid foundation of a new Pakistan,” he claimed.

About the criticism PTI is facing for embracing corrupt elements, Khan said he will devise such a system and strengthen anti-graft institutions so much that no one will be able to commit corruption and get away with it.

“I will be personally responsible if even a single new entrant was caught doing something wrong (got involved in corruption)”, he pledged.

He told the party workers that the match had not ended yet. “But I am giving you good news right now that you have won the match for a new Pakistan,” he said.

PTI chief vowed to introduce a new tax culture in the country. “I will not let the nation down before the others,” he promised.

He vowed to collect enough money from the citizens to lift standard of education, health and other basic facilities, and also seek help of overseas Pakistanis. “A strong FBR will bring wealthy ones into tax net”, he hoped.

Imran Khan said that governor houses were not affordable as a luxury. “First of all, the walls of Governor House Punjab will be demolished. We are thinking to turn it into a museum or a public park. Same [will be done] with governor houses in KP and Karachi. The governor houses in Nathia Gali and Murree will be made guest houses,” he promised to the rally participants.

He also announced to follow merit in every field including cricket.

Giving an outline of his concept of new Pakistan, Khan said reforms would be introduced so that there remains no one to receive Zakat.

“It is not a dream… a day will come when you will not find such persons in the country [who will be poor enough to take Zakat,” he said.

He congratulated KP government for introducing health cards. “A day will come when whole Pakistan will get health cards,” he promised.

“We want such a justice system as was in the state of Madina.” He said the accountability will start from top to bottom. “In our tenure, NAB will not ask from prime minister to initiate action against the criminals,” he vowed.

Imran thanked the workers who assembled on a 48 hours notice. He also thanked the women participants who, he said, displayed enthusiasm and attended the rally. He also thanked social media and TV anchors for withstanding pressure.

He criticised PML-N for levelling allegations against Shaukat Khanam hospital. He also criticised Sharif family for launching a campaign against Jemima, his ex-wife who came to Pakistan at an age of 21 years.

“She was booked in a tile smuggling case. I lost my children,” Imran lamented as he reminded the participants about Sharifs’ excesses against his family.

Imran Khan also criticised prime minister of AJK and chief minister of Gilgit Baltistan for their statements ‘to protect corruption of party leadership’. He said that Sharif family looted the nation for 30 years by deceiving them through innocent faces.


Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while addressing the gathering, appreciated the JIT members for their report and the Supreme Court judges for giving a “historic verdict” in the Panama Papers case.

He also appreciated the party workers for bearing what he termed atrocities of the Punjab government during the Islamabad lockdown. He stated Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen were not worried at all as they had submitted evidence before the Supreme Court in the cases filed against them. “We will emerge victorious in the accountability process. “You (the PML-N) threatened the JIT and attacked the SC,” he held. “I want freedom from Takht-e-Lahore,” Qureshi said.

PTI leader Jehangir Tareen thanked the judiciary for its role in the Panama Papers case. He reminded Shehbaz Sharif of the Model Town tragedy as one of the issues he would be asked about in the future. Tareen demanded making the Model Town inquiry report public.

He also reminded Shehbaz Sharif of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, which he claimed the Punjab chief minister was a central character of it. Tareen said Shehbaz was dreaming of becoming the prime minister, but he would have to give answers in connection with corruption cases in a NAB court in the coming days.

Tareen chanted slogans of “Go Shehbaz, Go” against the Punjab chief minister, an indication of an apparent shift in the party’s focus. He listed PML-N ‘lies’ regarding the Qatari letter before the SC as the reason for Nawaz’s disqualification. He warned Shehbaz Sharif he would have to face cases in the NAB in the coming days.

“You will have to give money trail of the London flats, Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal to the NAB. You have 16 companies in London and the NAB will ask you about the money you looted to establish these companies,” he said.

Tareen said had Sharifs got any answers to the questions asked by the SC and the JIT, they would have answered those some 18 months ago. He said Sharifs would ultimately land in jail.

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