PDM empowers PM to take Imran to task for vilifying Pak army

The Nation  |  Mar 21, 2023

 PDM empowers PM to take Imran to task for vilifying Pak army
Condemns PTI workers’ attacks on police, Rangers personnel n Attended by army chief and ISI DG, ruling allies meeting raises question on ‘instant relief’ to PTI chief from courts n Decides to summon joint session of parliament tomorrow n PM says Imran violating the Constitution by dragging state institutions and their leadership into ‘dirty’ politics.

ISLAMABAD    -   Strongly condemning the cam­paign of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and his party against the Pakistan Army, leaders of ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) yesterday unanimously viewed that that violent politics of the PTI chief is harmful for Pakistan and empowered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take a strict action against him (Im­ran) under the law.

The PDM leaders empowered the prime minister to take action against the former PM Imran Khan and his party during a high level meeting summoned by Shehbaz Sharif at the PM House here to discuss the ongoing cam­paign against the Pakistan army leadership as well as the prevail­ing chaotic situation in the coun­try created by the PTI.

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The meeting discussed and reviewed the prevailing politi­cal situation and statements of PTI chief Imran Khan against the state institutions.

The meeting was also attend­ed by federal cabinet members, Army Chief General Asim Mu­nir, Director General ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum and other senior officials.

Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made it clear that a strict action under the law would be taken against PTI chief Imran Khan for allegedly indulging in a cam­paign against the state institu­tions including Pakistan Army and the army chief.

The PDM leaders gave various suggestions to the prime min­ister in handling the situation. The meeting also decided to call joint session of the par­liament tomorrow to discuss the prevailing situation.

According to sources, Informa­tion Minister Marrium Aurang­zeb strongly suggested imme­diate arrest of Imran Khan and said if not arrested he would be­come a threat for the system.

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The sources further said that the PDM leaders termed politics of Imran Khan as detrimental for the security of the country and empowered the prime minister to take action against him as per the law. Earlier, the prime minis­ter held separate meetings with Army Chief General Asim Munir and Director General ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum.

The PDM meeting strongly condemned the statements of Imran Khan against the Pakistan army and termed his acts and ac­tions unacceptable.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif also spoke to former PM Nawaz Sharif in London on phone and later took partici­pants of the meeting into confi­dence regarding his discussion with Nawaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Shar­if earlier in his statement issued to the media said that the “dis­gusting” smear campaign of PTI against Chief of the Army Staff General Asim Munir, at the be­hest of Imran Niazi, deserved the strongest condemnation.

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The prime minister said that Imran Niazi was stooping to un­precedented lows in his desper­ation for power and going to the extent of damaging the coun­try and undermining its Armed Forces and their leadership.

The campaign against the COAS was intolerable and the continuation of a conspira­cy against the national institu­tions, according to a PM Office press release.

The prime minister urged overseas Pakistanis to raise their voice against the “for­eign-funded” campaign. He said as the dirty political game was being played through the expa­triates, they should not become part of the conspiracy.

He said Imran Khan was vio­lating the Constitution by drag­ging the state institutions and their leadership into his “dirty” politics. Shehbaz also instructed the interior minister to strictly deal with those running such a smear campaign against the in­stitutions.

He also warned of strict le­gal action against those fan­ning chaos and subversion in the country. A campaign against an army chief appointed purely on merit for the first time in the country’s history could only be an agenda of the anti-Pakistan elements, he added.

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“The whole nation stands by its institutions and is united against miscreants,” the prime minister remarked. During the meeting, the PDM leaders raised questions over the ‘in­stant relief’ Imran Khan got from courts.

According to sources, the PDM leaders mulled over options to ban PTI ‘following its clashes with police at Islamabad judi­cial complex and Zaman Park’. However, PPP and another po­litical party opposed this op­tion. During the meeting, the majority of participants were of the view that they should not be blackmailed from Imran Khan’s statements. “We should not be afraid of such statements, as PTI was exposing itself,” the sources said quoting the PDM leaders.

Moreover, majority of the PDM leaders opined that elec­tions on national and provincial assemblies should be held ‘at the same time’.

Later, in a joint statement is­sued by the government, the meeting strongly condemned the attacks and torture of po­lice and Rangers on the orders of Imran Khan and said strong action would be taken against those who had violated the law.

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The participants said that the police and Rangers, who came under attack, were only imple­menting the court orders.

The participants were briefed in detail about the economy, re­vival of the International Mon­etary Fund (IMF) Programme and measures taken by the prime minister for relief to the public.

The relief measures included farmers’ package, supply of free flour during Ramazan to poor families, scheme to provide spe­cial relief of Rs 50 in the price of petrol to the low wage and low income people, special CSS ex­amination for youth across the country, promotion of solar en­ergy, interest free and inexpen­sive loans for youth and reha­bilitation of flood affectees and other programmes.

The attendees appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Shar­if for revival of the economy and the IMF programme and for providing maximum relief to the people despite difficult economic conditions and ex­pressed complete confidence in his leadership.

They said that it was matter of grave concern that violent and trained miscreants comprising persons belonging to banned organizations and carrying pet­rol bombs, sticks, catapults and weapons attacked officers and personnel of state institutions.

This behaviour in no way was constitutional, legal, democrat­ic and political, they said add­ing taking up arms against state, targeting of officers and jawans, shooting at them, burning of vehicles, besieging the court premises and rioting, throwing of police vehicles in canals and stopping and torturing police­men who were on duty was an extreme of lawlessness, which nobody state could tolerate.

The meeting expressed soli­darity with officers and Jawans of state institutions and laud­ed their sense of duty and de­clared that no leniency would be shown and strict action ac­cording to law would be tak­en against those elements who broke the law.

“This is enmity against state which cannot be tolerated,” they said. It was stated that the whole nation saw that PTI was not a political party but was a gang of militants trained by banned organizations and all evidence and proofs were avail­able about it, so it was decided that action would be taken ac­cording to the law.

The meeting observed that the attitude of the system of justice with Imran Khan and his associ­ates was further deepening the impression that the two scales were not equal which was not a good omen for constitution, law and principles of justice and two standards of justice in the country were not acceptable.

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