Won’t give NRO, but will send you food: PM Khan
Indian media projecting ‘Azadi March’ like their own: Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that opposition parties have led their so-called ‘Azadi March’ into Islamabad because they want to pressure the government into giving them immunity from all their financial wrongdoings.
Addressing a public rally in Gilgit-Baltistan, he said, “I will not give them an National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), come hell or high water.”
“Gone are the days when one used to use Islam to gain power. This is a new Pakistan. Sit however long you want. When your food runs out, we will send more. But we will not give you an NRO,” he declared.
Visiting the region on the occasion of its independence day, the prime minister regretted that while the day marked a glorious event, a movement was on that day seeking disruption in Islamabad.
“We are celebrating your independence while an Azadi March is ongoing in Islamabad. Who are they wishing to gain freedom from?”
He, who had set up a seven-member government committee to hold talks with opposition ahead of the march, targeted Fazl Rehman, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Mehmood Khan Achakzai in his speech.
“I want the media to go there and ask people who they wish to free themselves from,” said the prime minister, stating that all his opponents appear disjointed in their thoughts and aims.
“If you ask PPP, they will talk about inflation; if you talk to PML-N they won’t know why they are there. JUI-F will decry a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ to undermine Pakistan.”
However, he said “the Jews don’t need to hatch conspiracies in the presence of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
“And somebody like Mehmood Khan Achakzai … what is he doing in Azadi March,” he said of the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) leader.
Without naming anyone, he said that two sons of a former prime minister were involved in “corruption worth billion of rupees”, but “they have failed to show even a single piece of paper to prove their innocence.”
“And when they are questioned about their corruption, they say they are not Pakistani citizens,” said the prime minister.
“And the flat which I had bought abroad, the Supreme Court held me accountable for 10 months,” he added.
“The way the Indian media is celebrating this march, it makes it seem he (Rehman) himself is (an Indian) national.”
The Premier regretted the use of Islam for shoring up votes.
“The youth will be misled. They will think he (Maulana) is the caretaker of Islam. Instead of coming to Islam, people will leave religion after looking at him.”
“People are on to you now, Fazl. This is the age of social media. People know there is no substance in your statements. People remember that when PTI gave a dharna in 2014, what the PPP, PML-N had said at that time,” he said.
“Even Asfandyar Wali is there, who used to speak against JUI-F all the time,” remarked the prime minister.
He also asked what Bilawal Bhutto, the PPP leader who usually takes progressive political positions, is doing joining hands with a right-wing Islamist party.
“Bilawal, who calls himself a liberal, has also joined the jalsa. It seems the only thing ‘liberal’ about Bilawal is that he is liberally corrupt,” he said.
“Tell people why you have really gathered,” he dared the opposition. He said the real reason was that their corruption cases are “laid bare for everyone to see. They are all afraid they will be next.”
The prime minister said he has waged a struggle for 22 years but his opponents think that he could be pressured into giving an NRO.
The prime minister vowed to turn a new page in the history of the country. “We will not be a country which allows such thieves to live in palaces. You will [all] go to jail. And then people will be afraid to do what you have done.”