PM sees Zardari, Shehbaz, Fazl behind bars ‘in near future’

Zardari not afraid of threats: PPP

| Imran Khan says Asif Zardari will be his ‘next target’ | Claims no-confidence move to be ‘political demise’ of Opposition | Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui contradicts PM Office claims | Says PM during meeting did not seek any support for no-trust motion from MQM-P



KARACHI   -  Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday lashed out at former president and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari and warned the opposition leaders that he would not spare the ‘thieves’ who plundered the national wealth.

PM Khan while addressing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers at Governor House said that his first ‘target’ would be the PPP’s co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari for his involvement in ‘corruption and money laundering.’ The premier also claimed that the no-confidence move against him would turn out to be the ‘political demise’ of the opposition.

Prime Minister Imran Khan issued this warning just one day after Asif Ali Zardari, addressing the ‘Awami March’ in Islamabad said, “Now is the time to overthrow this unholy ruler,” alluding to (PM) Imran Khan. “It is time we bring a noble man to replace the prime minister,” added Zardari.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also said that by submitting the no-confidence motion, the opposition had taken the step, which he had been longing for. “I have been waiting for this moment. Now they have been trapped as their no-confidence motion is going to rebound on them,” he claimed.

He said Zardari was focused on buying loyalties of the members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, adding that a PTI Member National Assembly told him that he was offered Rs 200 million.

Imran Khan also lashed out at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President, Shehbaz Sharif and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s chief Fazlur Rehman for joining Zardari in a bid to save one another. He accused Zardari and Sharif of coming up with different excuses on the occasions of hearings of court and the National Accountability Bureau.

He said Shehbaz Sharif had laundered billions of rupees to his son and son-in-law abroad, while Fazlur Rehman possessed wealth worth billions even without owning any business.

“I will further reduce electricity prices by retrieving public money from them,” he said, adding that in near future, all these corrupt would end up in jail. The prime minister said the gang of dacoits had got united against him, adding that the corrupt were not making the move to save the country, but themselves.

As the country progressed in the right direction, he said, the situation was greatly irking the thieves and dacoits.

He mentioned that due to the effective policies of the government, the country witnessed record exports, tax revenue, and foreign exchange.

Imran Khan said Pakistan was in favour of maintaining friendly relations with all countries, but not at the cost of its own integrity.

He mentioned that he had not given any statement against the European Union, but reminded it that Pakistan was its ally in the war against terrorism which cost the country over 80,000 casualties.

The prime minister said the war on terror resulted in the internal displacement of 3.5 million people in the country’s tribal areas, regretting that the sacrifices were not acknowledged by the world.

“Therefore, we will support peace but will not side with any country in a war,” he said.

On the other hand, he pointed out that Zardari and Nawaz Sharif during the 10 years of their rule did not speak against over 400 drone strikes on the country. “They did not utter a word against the drone attacks because they worship these countries as their wealth is secure and safe there,” he said. “They will never stand with the national interest”.

‘PM’s visit was scheduled prior to no-trust move’

Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday visited MQM-P Headquarters in Bahadurabad for the first time amid efforts from him to win support from his political ally for a crucial vote of no-confidence against him.

The prime minister who was accompanied by Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, federal ministers Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry and others was welcomed by MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other party leaders.

The meeting between the two sides continued for an hour with the MQM-P Convener saying afterwards that the no-trust move was not discussed during the meeting.

“The visit was scheduled prior to the no-trust move and the meeting went on in a friendly environment,” Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said and added, “There was no discussion on no-trust move and the prime minister did not seek any support from us.”

He, however, said that the MQM-P was in touch with all sides and the party will decide while keeping in mind the best interest of people of urban Sindh. While responding to a query if MQM supports the prime minister, Siddiqui responded: “It is currently owing to our support that he is prime minister.”

He further said that some of the promises made by PTI including holding census process again and establishment of university in Hyderabad are fulfilled, however, many others are yet to be accepted and implemented.

“We have conveyed that if our demands are not considered seriously then we have all options to mull over,” the MQM-P convener said. On the other hand, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that MQM-P has announced to support the PM Imran Khan against the no-trust move.

“Both parties discussed political issues in detail and finalised a workable strategy for the future,” he said and added, “MQM is our allied party and both parties have been supporting each other.” He said that MQM leadership expressed their full confidence in the Prime Minister and they neither made any demand nor complained about anything.

Pakistan People’s Party yesterday attacked Prime Minister Imran Khan after his statement against PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his first target, after “foiling” the opposition’s no-confidence motion against him, will be former president Asif Ali Zardari who “uses police and criminals” for his “illegal activities.”

Addressing party workers in Karachi, PM Khan said that people of Sindh wanted freedom from Zardari as “this mafia” had been “looting Sindh” from the last 14 years.

In reaction, PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman said it seemed as though a new wave of panic had swept over the PTI-led government due to the “revolutionary and game-changing Awami March” led by PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

“So much so that Imran Khan has resorted to using reprehensible language against the opposition. This behaviour by the PM of a country is not only an embarrassment but further proves and validates the need for the no-trust motion that the opposition rightfully submitted to the National Assembly last night at the behest of the entire nation,” she added.

The PPP leader said the government had reached new lows by threatening the life of Asif Ali Zardari.

The lawmaker said people had put their trust into Bilawal to bring peace and prosperity back to the country and “no amount of baseless and slanderous comments by Imran Khan or any of the PTI cronies will dull the momentum of the PPP.”

Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari condemned PM Imran Khan’s speech. “As soon as the no-confidence motion came, Imran Khan has panicked. It seems that Imran Khan is suffering from mental illness,” he said.

He said that Bilawal’s public march and no-confidence motion were linked like an arrow. “Signs of distress on Imran Khan’s face are visible. Asif Ali Zardari is not afraid of Imran Khan’s threats,” he added.

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