ISLAMABAD – Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Sunday accused former prime minister Nawaz Sharif of “blackmailing Pakistan and its institutions” in order to get relief from the corruption cases against him.
“You (Nawaz) were elected by this country thrice and now you are going against it just because you want relief from your cases? You are blinded, you want to take revenge from the masses. You want to blackmail Pakistan and its institutions. This will not happen,” Faraz said in a press conference.
The information minister further said that the PML-N supremo had not “gotten along” with any of the institutions.
“You want judges like Justice Qayum. You have never gotten along with any army chief, from [retired Gen] Janjua to now. This is what you do: you destablise democracy. You are responsible,” Faraz declared and went on to say that the former prime minister was a “product” who came to power through the support of the establishment. The minister said that the incumbent government had a good relationship with the army because it was “full of honest people”.
The PML-N leader, Faraz added, was criticising the chairperson of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), who was appointed by Nawaz himself.
“Now you have become a revolutionary, [acting] like you are statesman. You are accused of theft! You were not sent to jail because of any political dispute, [it was because] of the crimes you committed,” the minister said.
The information minister went on to say that Nawaz “started a narrative” that had no connection to his cases. The PTI leader also said that Nawaz’s government had devalued the currency so much that, were it not for the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country would have ended up in the same situation like Venezuela “where people take carts full of money to buy toothpaste”.
The information minister also cast doubt on the unity of the opposition parties that have formed the anti-government alliance named Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). The alliance includes almost all major opposition parties that seek the government’s ouster and has released its plan to launch nationwide protests and rallies. The first public meeting of the PDM will be held in Quetta on October 11.
PML-N is part of the alliance as well and the party’s supremo — who is currently in London — virtually addressed the first meeting of the PDM, where he cast doubt over the conduct of the 2018 general elections and workings of the parliament.
“How many parties agree with Nawaz’s point of view? They are already divided,” Faraz said in today’s press conference, adding that all politicians in the opposition wanted an NRO but Prime Minister Imran will never agree to give one. The federal minister said that the PTI had come to power with the promise to establish justice in the country and arrest politicians who were involved in corruption.
The minister also blamed previous governments, particularly that of PML-N, for expensive electricity and ruining the economy. He alleged that the Nawaz government had left the economy and the institutions “hollow”.