Published On: Sat, Mar 18th, 2023
Published in Category: Lahore

If the state wanted to arrest Imran Khan, it would not take more than five minutes to do so: Maryam Nawaz

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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President and Party's Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Friday called on the coalition government to treat the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as a “terrorist organisation”. “The way the government, the state deals with a banned organisation, a terrorist organisation, Imran Khan should be dealt with in the same way. Thinking of it (PTI) as a political party and dealing with it as a political party needs to end,” she said. She said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan was now amenable for talks with the government after all his tactics had failed. “The government should deal with them in the same way it deals with terrorists.”

Maraym Nawaz made the remarks during a fiery press conference in Lahore in which she lashed out at the ex-premier for “openly revolting against the state”.

“After the foreign funding case, I have no doubt that he (Imran) was launched to spread civil unrest and anarchy in Pakistan,” Maryam Nawaz said. “What do terrorists do when they are planning to carry out terrorism? They hide in caves and pass orders from there.

“In political and democratic movements […] we have always seen that political leaders or the party head leads from the front. He is at the front and the people come out behind him.”

She said that only in terrorists organisations were orders given “from a cave”, adding that the same was happening at Zaman Park.

“Statements are being given from the Zaman Park bunker,” she said, adding that people were also being given orders to throw petrol bombs.

“Where did the petrol come from? Where did the petrol bombs come from? Where did the technology for making petrol bombs come from? Have you ever seen petrol bombs in the hands of a political party?”

Maryam Nawaz said that Imran Khan had pitted the police forces of two provinces against each, adding that members of banned organisations were also present outside Zaman Park.

“The way in which terrorist organisations tell people to wear suicide jackets and carry out suicide attacks, in the same way he is calling on people to attack the state with the promise of a [party] ticket. It is the same thing.”

She further said that the state appeared to be on the back foot as it did not want bloodshed and valued the lives of citizens. She said that the state had to “look after everyone”.

“But yes, now the state will have to sit together with the country’s institutions and remove the label of a political party from it (PTI). It should be dealt with as a banned organisation […] and a terrorist organisation.

“If this doesn’t happen, then a huge question mark will arise on this government.”

Maryam further said that armed groups pelted stones and used sticks against the police at Zaman Park, while Imran Khan challenged the writ of the state and fueled "rebellion". According to Maryam, the armed groups were using banned outfits to attack the state institutions.

"What we saw in Zaman Park has never been seen in the history of the country and he [Imran] did all that only to evade arrest. Everyone saw the actions of the self-proclaimed political leader," she said.

The PML-N leader said that if the state wanted to arrest the former premier, it would not take more than five minutes to do so but the state was avoiding bloodshed. She added that Imran Khan did not win the 2018 general elections but was brought to power by some people who knew they would not get an extension from former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

She said that when the Sharif family was summoned to courts, it did not make any excuse. "This person (Imran) has been asking his people to fill up prisons but he has been making all the excuses in the world to evade arrest and is seeking bails," she added. "If the court of summoning you, you must go. No one will arrest you."

The PML-N leader said that Nawaz Sharif, despite his heart condition, continued to appear in the courts and the entire Sharif family did not make any excuses.

Maryam also criticised Imran Khan's demand for the court martial of former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, claiming that Imran praised Bajwa throughout his tenure. She added that Bajwa and General Faiz have admitted their wrongdoings and brought the institution into disrepute, so the institution should itself take action against them both.

Maryam Nawaz said that her father, Nawaz Sharif, would soon come to Pakistan to lead the election campaign. She criticised Imran Khan for making excuses to avoid arrest, despite asking his people to fill up prisons.

"A drug addict cannot make decisions for a nation of 220 million who is responsible for the current state of the country," she said while referring to Imran Khan.

The PML-N leader said that controlling inflation was the government's number one priority, and if it failed to do so, questions would be raised. "I am not part of the government so I can ask questions... my responsibility is with the party," she added.

On the IMF deal, she said that the government will never accept any condition which compromises the sovereignty of the country.

Strongly reacting to former US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s remarks about Khan’s possible arrest, Maryam asked: "Who gave Zalmay Khalilzad the right to interfere in the internal affairs of Pakistan?"

The PML-N leader also asked, “Why was Zalmay Khalilzad kept silence when journalists were subjected to torture during Imran's tenure?”

Responding to a question, she said that Imran Khan was telling a lie about bail on the international media.

She added Imran Khan had apologized to America mentioning Teryan White and Toshakhana cases were not fabricated and Imran Khan was using delaying tactics asking PTI chief to tell the court if cases were concocted.

The PML-N’s vice president Imran Khan was now criticizing the former army chief but he used to praise him in the past suggesting PTI chief to appear in the court.

During the press conference, Maryam Nawaz was also asked about why she only blamed ex-spymaster retired Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and not former army chief retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for ousting her father Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

She responded by saying that the results of what both the men did was in front of the nation. “They both have confessed and are now blaming each other,” she said, adding that the “institution should take measures to sort them out”.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, former minister for information and broadcasting Parvez Rashid, former minister of state for interior Muhammad Tallal Chaudhry and other PML-N leaders were also present on the occasion.