Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has accused his predecessor Imran Khan of planning to trigger a civil war in the country and warned of legal action for concocting a narrative against the country’s national institutions.
His remarks came on the heels of Pakistan’s powerful army warning its critics to avoid throwing dirt on the premier institution as it took “strong exception” to “intensified and deliberate attempts” to drag it into politics after the removal of the Khan-led government last month.
The 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was voted out of power last month through a no-confidence motion, which he alleges was masterminded by the US with the help of local players over his pursuance of an independent foreign policy. His supporters used social media to target the army for doing nothing to save his government.
Shehbaz’s office issued a statement late on Sunday night, saying that the premier termed Khan’s address at a rally in Abbottabad “a grand conspiracy against Pakistan.”
The Prime Minister said those concocting a narrative against national institutions were the real Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq’ – the two men who are known as collaborators of the East India Company in the 18th Century.
Shehbaz said the state of Pakistan, the Constitution of Pakistan, and the respected institutions of Pakistan were challenged by Imran Khan in Abbottabad on Sunday.
He assured that legal action would be taken.
Shehbaz said what Khan was doing could only be categorised as conspiracy, not politics.
This conspiracy was not against any political rivals but against the country, he said.
“Pakistan cannot be surrendered and compromised over one person’s ego, arrogance, and blatant lies. Imran first conspired to destroy the economy of the country and was now planning to trigger a civil war in Pakistan”, he said.
The Prime Minister pledged that Khan’s nefarious designs would be crushed at all costs.
Imran was this era’s Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq who wanted Pakistan to face the same fate as Libya and Iraq, he added.
He went on to say that Khan was digging holes in the very boat he is riding and biting the hand that feeds him.
“The people of Pakistan, the Constitution, and the institutions of Pakistan were not slaves of Imran Niazi, nor could he hold them hostage,” he lambasted.
He slammed Khan’s speech and said he would not be allowed to become the Hitler of Pakistan.
Imran had lied to the nation all this time, it’s time he faced the truth, he said.
The state institutions like the judiciary and the military have been severely criticised since the Imran Khan-led government was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion.
Since then, Khan held several public rallies in different cities, labelling the new government as traitors and corrupt rulers allegedly imposed at the behest of the US.
Since his ouster, he has blamed the US for conspiring against his government a stance that the incumbent government has refuted.
Addressing the Abbottabad rally, Imran claimed that more than three million people will march on Islamabad when he will give the protest call to the nation after May 20.
The deposed premier said only animals were neutral who didn’t take a side when he was ousted from power in a no-trust move last month, in remarks apparently aimed at the military leadership.
An Army spokesman said at a press conference last month that the military had decided to stay away from politics, especially the current political tussle between former premier Khan and his opponents.
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