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Shehbaz urges army, ISI chiefs to share proof of opposition’s ‘treason’

Updated 05 Apr, 2022
“It’s not that we do not want free and fresh elections… we were demanding this for so long and we wanted to oust the premier through constitutionally and democratically and preparations for free and fair polls,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube
“It’s not that we do not want free and fresh elections… we were demanding this for so long and we wanted to oust the premier through constitutionally and democratically and preparations for free and fair polls,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday demanded Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence DG Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum reveal the evidence which shows that former opposition leaders are “traitors” while citing the National Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling and the premier's claim about the NSC minutes pertaining to “foreign conspiracy".

“It’s not that we do not want free and fresh elections… we were demanding them for so long and we wanted to oust the premier constitutionally and democratically and then prepare for free and fair polls,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

The PML-N president asked to see proof after Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday claimed that the former opposition did not realise the gravity of the situation when the National Security Committee explicitly said that there foreign interference in the no-confidence motion.

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum are part of the National Security Committee. The NSC, which discussed the “threatening letter” on March 31, had decided that Pakistan will issue a strong demarche to the country in question, both in Islamabad and in the country’s capital, through proper channels in keeping with diplomatic norms.

“Minutes were issued after the NSC, where it was confirmed that it [no-confidence motion] was a planned plot from outside to interfere in Pakistan’s internal politics and the basis of the no-confidence motion was foreign,” PM had said.

Moreover, NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri on Sunday rejected the opposition’s no-confidence motion against PM Imran for being against the Constitution. “No foreign conspiracy is allowed to oust the elected government in Pakistan,” he had said.

Imran further spills the beans on ‘threat letter’

“PM Imran declared 197 MNAs traitors through the deputy speaker’s ruling, I demand [COAS] Gen Bajwa and ISI DG, who are members of NSC, if God forbid we have committed treason then bring evidence in front of the public and in front of the Supreme Court,” Shehbaz said, adding that if they have not committed the crime of inviting a foreign power then facts should come to light.

He added that his party would also take this issue to the apex court, to review the claims and separate facts from allegations. The PML-N president further questioned whether the military leadership signed and vetted the minutes of the NSC meeting. “Did they approve the minutes of the meeting? Such questions need to be answered?”

When asked about the nomination for the interim set-up, Shehbaz claimed that he has not received a letter from President Arif Alvi. “Today is April 5 and till this time I have not received any official letter from President Alvi, who crushed the Constitution,” he said, adding that the multi-party confab and their lawyers would ponder over the letter once it’s received.

But, he added that the premier and the president had violated the Constitution, which should be addressed first.

Shehbaz termed the former government’s invitation to the parliamentary committee on national security a “cruel joke”, saying that he was informed about the meeting at the eleventh hour via the party secretary. He alleged that no other opposition members were invited to the meeting.

Zardari seeks clarification from the military over national security

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday urged the military to clarify its position on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claims about a foreign conspiracy hatched to oust his government.

“[PM] Imran Khan is trying to hide behind a letter. The members of the National Security Council have said that no evidence hinting at a conspiracy was found, despite Imran saying that those belonging to security institutions were satisfied with him. If it is so, these members need to clarify their position,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

Former president Zardari said that now the issue was not just about the opposition or PM Imran but related to Pakistan. “Hence any delay in such serious and sensitive issues could be detrimental to the country. Now, this issue is not just related to the opposition or the no-confidence vote but in fact of national security,” it read.

Moreover, Moeed Yusuf on Monday stepped down from the post of the national security adviser and thanked the premier for the responsibility. He shared the development in a series of tweets.

“Today, I leave extremely satisfied and content, most of all because I know that the NSA’s office and the NSD are vibrant institutions with an exceptional team that will continue to make Pakistan proud,” it read.