ISLAMABAD   -   Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday asked Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Nadeem Anjum to share evidence of any alleged treason, committed by the joint opposition.

The opposition leader’s remarks came days after Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that the opposition leaders tabled the no-confidence motion against him with the support of a foreign country. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri had on Sunday dismissed the opposition’s no-trust move against the now interim Prime Minister Imran Khan without voting after linking it with a ‘foreign conspiracy’.  Days before the NA session, the National Security Committee (NSC), which is the top civil-military forum, had also expressed concern over foreign meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs and decided to lodge a strong protest.

Addressing the media here, Shehbaz said that the deputy speaker’s ruling had declared 197 members of the Parliament ‘traitors’,  as he directly asked the country’s top military officials to provide proof, if any, of the opposition’s complicity in the alleged foreign conspiracy. “Today, I want General Bajwa and the ISI DG to clarify and bring forth evidence if we have committed treason,  and show it to the public so that everything becomes crystal clear,” the PML-N leader said. “We have been protesting against him for more than three years now. But the day we decided to take a constitutional path to oust him, we were called traitors,” he added. He demanded that the establishment should clarify if they had signed the minutes of the National Security Committee meeting. “Did the establishment approve the NSC minutes? Were they vetted? These are the answers the nation wants to know today,” he demanded. The PML-N leader maintained that Pakistan was facing economic ruin because of the incumbent government’s actions.

Shehbaz also claimed that he had not received any letter from President Dr Arif Alvi regarding the proposal of names for the appointment of caretaker prime minister. “As I speak, I have not officially received any letter from President Alvi,” he said. Two days back, the President’s Secretariat had shared copies of letters written to interim Prime Minister Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif, asking them to propose names for the post of caretaker prime minister. Shehbaz said that whenever he got the letter, he would first consult with his legal team and opposition partners, and then send names for the interim prime minister. “But Arif Alvi and Imran Khan Niazi have violated and trampled the Constitution. A decision on this matter should first be taken. Rest of the things will be seen later,” he added. Shehbaz said Imran has sacrificed the interests of Pakistan for his own sake and was “ready to sacrifice everything for his own self”.

Also, Shehbaz Sharif late Tuesday tweeted, “Niazi has shamelessly accused entire Opposition in NA of being traitors. I demand of Army Chief & DG ISI to furnish proofs if we have committed any treason or we have used foreign funding & support in our no-trust motion. We will not let coward Niazi get away with these charges.”