LAHORE - PTI Chairman Imran Khan yesterday gave Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a few more weeks to present himself for accountability in Panama Papers allegations, failing which his party ‘will not let him stay in power’.
In his 80-minute speech to the thousands of participants of a rally at Adda Plot, near PM’s Raiwind residence, he cited prevailing tension with India as the reason behind his refraining from any immediate action against the government.
He said if the PM did not pay heed to their calls for accountability, the party would lock down Islamabad after Muharram, which is likely to start on Monday.
Without giving any specific date, Khan however asked his supporters to be ready for it.
He said people of Pakistan did not want war with India but they were ready to give her a befitting response in case of any aggression. Calling Indian premier an extremist and warmonger, he said he thought Narendra Modi would become a statesman after becoming the prime minister, though he earlier killed thousands in Gujrat, but his expectations from him went unfulfilled.
“He (Modi) is still an extremist and using his groups for propaganda against Pakistan,” PTI chief said, adding that people of Pakistan are with their Kashmiri brothers in their fight for freedom.
He criticised PM Sharif for not “talking from the heart for the people of Kashmir during his speech at the UN (General Assembly).”
He pointed out contradictions in the statements of the Sharif family members regarding the ownership of their London flats and said the prime minister was culpable for concealment of wealth, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering.
Imran Khan said NAB, FBR, FIA and Supreme Court should discharge their duties and investigate the matter which was an “open and shut case”.
He showed videos of various Sharif family members making conflicting statements about the ownership and period of purchase of the London flats. He pointed out that the London High Court had attached the flats of the Sharif family in 2004. If they were not owned by them at the time, how the London court ordered their attachment, he asked.
Khan said Maryam Nawaz owned two companies back in 2006 which owned the London flats. If she did not have money and was a dependent of her father as she claimed in an interview in 2013, how were flats purchased.
The prime minister, he said, also claimed in his tax returns that Maryam was his dependent.
This, he said, meant that the prime minister set up companies in the name of his daughter who purchased the properties.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had said back in 2012 that the London flats had been purchased by the Sharifs 20 years ago.
Siddiqul Farooq, the incumbent Chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, had said in an interview that he had stayed in the Sharifs’ London flats in 1996.
The PTI chairman said many a nation was destroyed in the past because there were different yardsticks for enforcement of law on the rich and the poor. Allah, he said, wanted establishment of justice on land.
Imran Khan praised his party workers for holding the rally near the residences of the PM on the security walls of which, he claimed, Rs600 million of public money had been spent. Also, he said, Rs8.5 billion had been spent on the security of the ruling family during past eight years.
The PTI chairman said many ‘Firouns’ (pharaohs) had lost power in the past and the time for Nawaz Sharif was also about to be over.
Accusing prime minister of making wasteful expenditure, he said, if he wanted to live like Mughal emperors he should spend from his own pocket, not public money.
“I will continue fight against the looters even if no party is with me. My firm believe in Allah and people of Pakistan gives me strengthen to stand firm against corrupt mafia,” he said.
Addressing the rally, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid said the country would not progress if Nawaz remained in power. Referring to General Raheel Sharif, he said people had come out against ‘thieves’.
He criticised NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq for sending references against Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen to the Election Commission, sparing the prime minister (who should have been proceeded against before all others).
He said the participants of the rally would destroy Jati Umra if Imran ordered them to do so. He alleged that Nawaz Sharif and the Indian PM had similarity of views.
“Only an honest leader can see the Indian prime minister in the eye,” he said.
Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Modi had done a great wrong to the region by not coming to the Saarc summit.
He told India never to think of making surgical strikes on Pakistan as the 200 million people would come to defend the motherland. He said Kashmir would ultimately become part of Pakistan.