Imran’s criticism of establishment not based on principle but to regain support: Maryam

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday alleged that PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s criticism of the establishment was not based on principle but to curry favour again.

Addressing a press conference in London, Maryam said that every political party in Pakistan had criticised the establishment at one point or another, based on “democratic principles or issues for some correction or to provide realisation about a mistake”.

She said that such critiques had a different purpose which was clear to the nation. However, referring to Imran’s growing criticism of the establishment since his ouster, she said: “His criticism of the establishment is not due to vision or democratic or personal principle,” she said, but only so he could regain their favour.

Maryam called out the manner of Imran’s criticism as well, saying that there must be a “standard of criticism”.

“[Soldiers] are the defenders of the country, not defenders of Bani Gala or Imran Khan’s government or your loot.”

She castigated Imran for “grabbing the collars of those in the day whom he beseeches in the darkness of night”, adding that he had stayed silent about the meeting with the army chief in the presidency while “giving sermons about animals and Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq” to his supporters until the Inter-Services Intelligence chief had to come and reveal the “truth”.

“He doesn’t have answers about the truth. The nation is waiting that some answer will come for the serious allegations and facts against him but he has no answer. All [his] focus is on cursing [opponents].”

Maryam claimed that the people had seen the reality of Imran’s lies, which explained the low turnout in the PTI’s march to Islamabad.

She said the long march was the PTI’s last resort after its attempt to build pressure through public rallies and secure early elections failed, alleging that the actual purpose for the pressure campaign was the matter of the next army chief’s appointment this month.

To a question, Maryam said: “There is no institution behind this long march, [however], there could be one or two individuals behind it,” adding that “some people” — whose list of crimes and sins was so long — had made the PTI chief their last hope and were still teaching him.

Maryam further alleged that Imran was still searching for people in the establishment who could continue to support him and the nation was aware of this.

“Your lies are unravelling and your time has ended.”

‘Nawaz’s innocence has been established’

Referring to Imran’s claim that the establishment had informed him about cases against his political opponents, Maryam said that “there is no bigger proof of [PML-N supremo] Nawaz Sharif’s innocence than this.”

She also referred to the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) detailed verdict on her appeals against her conviction in the Avenfield reference which virtually cleared Nawaz Sharif in the reference by observing that the accountability court order convicting him, Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar was “not correct”.

Maryam said that “no case is left” after the IHC observation and the PML-N would soon legally take up the matter and Nawaz would be back among the people.

‘Major scandal to come’

Regarding the Toshakhana reference, Maryam alleged that another “major scandal” related to the issue was coming soon.

She alleged that British multinational jeweller Graff had gifted a diamond set that Imran had paid “Rs20 million for and sold in Dubai for Rs220m”.

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