Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan, terming him a “puppet, pawn and selected prime minister, who came into power by stealing the mandate of the people”.
Delivering a fiery speech at a ceremony organised in Lahore in connection with Youm-e-Takbir to commemorate Chagai-I nuclear test on May 28, 1998, Maryam said that no prime minister of the world was ready to give respect to the incumbent Pakistani premier because they all knew that Imran Khan came into power through stealing the votes of the people.
Addressing a charged crowd of PML-N workers, Maryam also paid tributes to her father who remained a prime minister for three times and was now behind bars.
“One who serves the people is punished and one who fails Pakistan at every front is rewarded,” she said. “Some moments come in history when the fate of a nation changes, and Nawaz Sharif did the same by conducting six atomic tests that made Pakistan an invincible force. The man who made Pakistan an invincible country is behind the bars these days and the man who laid foundation of the atomic power was hanged,” she said, paying tribute to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She was of the view that former US president Bill Clinton had called Nawaz Sharif five times, urging him not to go for nuclear tests, and offered him $5 billion in return, but her father refused the offer just for the sake of his people and made the country an atomic power.
Criticising Imran Khan, she said the premier had been talking about Nawaz Sharif in every sit-in, speech and interview, even when he was in jail, because “you are scared of Sharif”.
She said that the problems of Pakistan wouldn’t have been the same if Imran had paid attention to address them instead of focusing on Nawaz. “Who is demanding an NRO from you as you yourself look up to someone else all the time,” said Maryam, refuting the allegations that the PML-N leadership was seeking an NRO. It is pertinent to mention here that both the scion of the Sharif family – Maryam and Hamza Shahbaz – were seen sharing the stage after a long time, brushing aside the impression of rifts within the family. “You started trembling when Maryam and Hamza are made vice presidents of the party, and you start approaching the courts against us. Fight us in the field, as both of us are here,” said Maryam.
In his speech, opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz said that even former military dictator Pervez Musharraf had failed to create rifts within the Sharif family. “It isn’t Maryam or Hamza, but it is Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif,” he said. He once again criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Imran Khan, and added that the anti-graft watchdog’s tactics could not scare him at all. He said Imran Khan had proved that he was incapable to governing the country. “Nawaz Sharif made this country an atomic power by refusing billions of dollars, but this man (Imran Khan) made us a slave of the IMF for just a few dollars,” he said.