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KOHAT: Smarting from the opposition’s failure to get the Nawaz Sharif-specific amendment bill passed in the National Assembly, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan lashed out at lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Wednesday, claiming that they had made a mockery of democracy.
Addressing a press conference after inaugurating a traffic management school and a new Police Lines in Jarma, Kohat, Mr Khan claimed that the ousted prime minister had offered bribes worth Rs94 billion to 163 members of the National Assembly to attend Tuesday’s session and defeat the opposition’s bill.
Yet the government held back Rs35bn from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the last four years, he raged, saying that the lawmakers who had taken direct orders from Raiwind made a mockery of the country by protecting a criminal.
The PTI chief regretted that even though the people of Pakistan had voted for parliamentarians to safeguard the national exchequer, the lawmakers were instead protecting a thief, and a family that had siphoned away Rs300bn of taxpayers’ money through corruption.
He said that Mr Sharif and his family had failed to produce any documents to back their claims that their wealth was legally acquired and transferred abroad. “The Qatari letter, [and documents pertaining to] the Gulf Steel Mills, the London flats, the Saudi mills…had bounced back even though the family was given more than a year’s time to produce the documents of the transactions. [Furthermore] Nawaz Sharif has abused the Supreme Court bench that passed the judgement by asking why he had been ousted.”
The PTI chief claimed that after Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, he [Imran Khan] was the only leader who had brought back money from foreign sources to the country by paying his due taxes. Everyone was aware of the wealth he had acquired by playing international cricket, he said, adding that he had purchased his flat in London when he did not hold a public office.
He said that he had produced 60 documents in the Supreme Court to explain his wealth, and so had PTI’s Jehangir Tareen. Mr Khan said Mr Tareen had presented the money trail for his wealth and accounted for every penny he had earned.
Responding to another question, he said Mr Sharif had announced at a public meeting in Abbottabad and elsewhere that the right of accountability rested with the 200m people of Pakistan. Mr Khan stressed that the PML-N leader was wrong in saying that as the people voted on the basis of performance, while legal matters were settled in courts. He advised the PML-N chief “not to fool people by mixing voting and accountability…they are two different things”.
Speaking at the press conference, Mr Khan was joined by provincial Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan, MNA Shehayar Afridi, MPA Ziaullah Bangash, IGP Salahuddin Mehsud and Kohat region DIG Awal Khan.
Mr Khan dismissed allegations of Minister Ali Ameen Gandapur’s involvement in the case of a girl being stripped and humiliated in Dera Ismail Khan. He stressed that Mr Gandapur was not protecting the suspects in the case, and said that he had discussed the matter with the IGP, who had ensured that the eight out of the nine nominated suspects had been arrested without delay. He added that the suspects were now facing trial without any political interference
The PTI chief lauded the performance of KP’s police and said there had been a marked decrease in crime rate since 2014, while the number of terrorist incidents had gone down 50pc. The law and order situation could be ascertained from the fact that he was addressing a public meeting without a bulletproof screen, whereas Awami National Party’s Asfandyar Wali Khan had to leave the province because of the volatile situation. He said that 2017 has been the most peaceful year ever since Pakistan began its war against terrorism.
He said the police reforms his government had introduced had led to the resolution of 17,000 cases out of court in dispute resolution councils (DRCs) which worked on the pattern of the old Pushtoon jirga system. He said that people were now rid of the awful hang-ups of the kutcheries and were benefiting from DRCs.
He said when the PTI came into power in 2018, it would enforce the DRC system and police reforms in the whole country. He later handed over motorcycles and other vehicles to the traffic police.