Imran says govt trying to treat ‘cancer with disprin’

islamabad   -   Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday linked the return of his party members to the National Assembly with investigation of the cipher from Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington regarding the alleged conspiracy before the vote of no-confidence against him.

He said that his party MNAs will return to the National Assembly only if the government decides to investigate the cipher. The former prime minister stated this during a conversation with some journalists in Islamabad on Saturday.

While talking to journalists, Khan also spoke about his party’s relations with the establishment. “The PTI had good relations with the establishment, I don’t know how and when they worsened,” he said. “The government needs to have better relations with the establishment than the Opposition,” he said, adding: “How can we have links with the establishment while being in the Opposition?”

He said that the establishment in Pakistan is a reality and it ‘has all the powers’. The former premier said that his government always desired good relations with everyone in the region in the national interest.

Khan, while taking a jibe at the government, said that its priorities are “not the economy but ending its corruption cases”.

The government has dismissed National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) cases worth Rs1,100 billion, said the PTI chief, adding that former finance minister Ishaq Dar has decided to return to Pakistan as soon as NAB’s case against him ends. He further claimed that Nawaz Sharif is also preparing to come back. “If we get to rule the country again, we will not repeat the mistakes made in the past. The PTI government had come into power for the first time and hence, mistakes were made,” he admitted. The former premier also said that his party has a ‘comprehensive plan’ to stabilise the economy.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial Friday urged the political leaders and parties to hold dialogue in order to break the political deadlock in the country.  Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that ‘a purely political impasse does not have legal solutions.’ Also he asked the state organs to play role to uphold rule of law and supremacy of Constitution. 

On Friday, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah while hearing a case filed by PTI leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and others remarked that the lawmakers should attend the National Assembly sessions and they should represent their constituencies till their resignations are accepted and formally de-notified.

The cipher, based on then-envoy Asad Majeed’s meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Donald Lu, is at the heart of PTI’s allegations that his ouster from office was all part of a foreign conspiracy.

On March 27, the former prime minister at a public gathering accused the US of interfering in Pakistan’s politics and plotting to oust his regime through a no-trust motion in the National Assembly. As proof, the PM also carried a “threat letter” saying that “a foreign country” — referring to the United States — “has warned of dire consequences if I remain in power”.

Meanwhile, Former prime minister Khan said that if the letter sent by the President Dr Arif Alvi to the Chief Justice of Pakistan was investigated thoroughly, then PTI may consider returning to the National Assembly.

He made these remarks during a special session with a group of journalists.

PTI Central Secretary General Asad Umar, former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and PTI’s Spokesperson on Economy and Finance Muzzammil Aslam were also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, the country’s overall political and economic situation and PTI’s economic strategy and future goals were discussed threadbare.

Former prime minister Khan who was voted out by the parliament in April had alleged that he was ousted from power through a foreign conspiracy saying that the diplomatic cable was a major proof of his allegation. PTI had resigned from the NA en masse to mark its protest.

PTI chief Khan said that lawmakers openly sold their consciousness to change loyalties to oust his government but ironically no one took notice that this regime change would have negative consequences on the economic state of the country.

Regarding Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s address at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he said that the premier’s UNGA speech was an “announcement of the country’s bankruptcy”. He alleged that PM Shehbaz and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had ruined the country’s economy as cancer was being treated with disprin.

I had warned the military establishment in a timely manner that the economy cannot afford political instability, he said. He said that the “cabal of crooks” was brought in through foreign-backed conspiracy without any preparation to handle the economic situation. “This is because their main objective was to protect and safeguard their theft of billions of corruption.”

Khan said that the “imported” government did one thing quite systematically to change NAB laws to save their own skin, as they gave themselves a NRO-like deal to forgive corruption whooping Rs 1100 billion.

The PTI chairman said that the conspirators wanted to topple the PTI government only to paralyse Pakistan economically, which was their main agenda and goal. “Criminals under the guise of democracy are active in politics, how is it possible to hold talks with them,” he said while referring to the ruling coalition.

He said that when the PTI was doing legislation relating to FATF, the present rulers pushed for another NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance).

“Today, the so-called ‘genius’ who left the country on the brink of bankruptcy is being brought back to further add to fire,” Khan said while referring to former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

He said that if his government had not been overthrown through conspiracy, then the bad economic situation they were facing today would never have arisen.

He underlined that the starting point for reforming the current economic disaster was political stability because without political stability, no plan to restore the economy would be effective. He added that the door of political stability would be opened with transparent elections.

PTI chairman said that those who were helping Pakistan to avert the bankruptcy would set harsh conditions. He warned that a weak economy was creating serious threats to their sovereignty. “It is next to impossible to fight corruption without the system of punishment and reward.”

Khan stated that he would strongly encourage overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan, adding that there were difficulties in pursuing independent foreign policy.

“If you make it a policy to get dollars in exchange for services, you can never get a respectable place in the comity of nations,” he added.

He said that foreign policy should be formulated according to the interests of its people. He stated that normalizing ties with India without reversal of its August 5 illegal steps were tantamount to betrayal of the freedom struggle of Kashmiris.