Imran's arrest: PM Shehbaz warns of 'exemplary punishment' for 'miscreants'

Imran's arrest: PM Shehbaz warns of 'exemplary punishment' for 'miscreants'

Islamabad (Web Desk/Agencies): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday reiterated that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan legally and on the basis of corruption and corrupt practice in Al Qadir Trust case, involving a whopping amount of Rs 60 billion (£ 190 million).

In a televised address to the nation, the premier referred to the violent spree unleashed by PTI leadership and their supporters across the country inflicting severe damages, sternly warning the miscreants that they would be dealt with iron hands.

"These terrorist and anti-state elements are being warned to desist from taking laws into hands, otherwise they will be dealt in with iron hands. Safeguarding the motherland and its ideology are more precious to them than their lives. We will not let their nefarious designs to succeed," he maintained.

PM Shehbaz said that rule of law meant to face all the cases legally. Inflicting damages to the public and private properties amounted to terrorist acts.

"All are equal before the laws; these are the Islamic teachings and the beauty of democracy," he said while advising the PTI chairman to face the NAB cases legally.

The prime minister said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also termed Imran Niazi’s arrest legal and observed that NAB acted in accordance with the law.

He further said that the country’s past political history was very unpleasant based upon vendetta which had never yielded good results. The political parties learned from those experiences and reached to the ‘Charter of Democracy” by vowing to work under the Constitution.

Under the same passion, on April 11 last year, they took over the responsibilities of the government and did not adopt the vengeance-based approach as manifested by the PTI’s government led by Imran Niazi against their political opponents, he added.

“Cases were decided on the basis of faces,” he said, adding the PTI’s former ministers even days ahead used to announce that a specific political leader would be arrested on a particular day, while Imran Niazi also kept on announcing that a wicket from the opposition side would fall soon.

The prime minister elaborated that almost all the leaders, now sitting in the first two rows of the National Assembly (NA), were sent to jails on false charges and there was no one to take notice during the previous regime of PTI.

PM Shehbaz said that Rana Sanaullah was arrested on concocted charges of carrying 15 kilograms of heroin which was a black day in the history of Pakistan, he added.

"Our sisters, daughters, sons and even relatives were not spared ‘in the pursuance of blind vengeance’, which also badly hampered the national development," he said.

He said that due to the countrywide demands, concerns and serious apprehensions of the bureaucracy and the business community, they brought amendments to the NAB laws.

"In the past, when we were in the opposition and referred to the necessary amendments in the NAB laws, our genuine demands were spurned by the PTI’s leadership accusing us of seeking NROs," the premier said, adding that the fact was that in the opposition, they adopted a national approach with responsibility.

PM Shehbaz said explained that in the previous NAB laws, an accused was arrested on 90 days remand but after the amendment, that period was reduced to 15 days only which was in accordance with the fairness of the contemporary laws and under courts’ observations, adding the first beneficiary of that amendment was now Imran Niazi.

The prime minister said they were still facing NAB cases though none of them had been proved yet which was a great blessing of Allah Almighty.

"In the United Kingdom, the PTI government prompted an investigation against me but the National Crime Agency of the UK gave us a clean chit which was not an honour for us, but for the 220 million people of Pakistan."

“We faced all cases and never budged from facing courts despite our strong apprehensions and objections. Thrice elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif, along with his daughter, had appeared more than a hundred times in NAB cases and even went to jail while holding the hands of his daughter after the death of his spouse,” the prime minister maintained.

Recollecting the death of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, PM Shehbaz said it was the most unfortunate and tragic incident, but the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership and workers faced the tragedy with patience and utter display of exemplary patriotism which would be remembered for long.
Particularly, former president Asif Ali Zardari who raised the slogan of ‘Pakistan Khappay’ which frustrated the enemies’ designs and took the country on the path of democracy and progress, he added.
About Imran Khan’s Al-Qadir Trust corruption case, the prime minister said it was strange how could a federal cabinet approved a huge amount related to the national kitty without opening an envelope. The cabinet members were kept in the dark, he opined.

He further questioned whether such an attitude was permitted by the religious teachings, existing laws and the democratic system that an accused should refuse to face the court of law.

PM Shehbaz said such a situation was an unpleasant moment in one’s life but from such trials, the real character of the leadership emerged which should advise their followers not to cross the laws and protect public and private properties.

He said it was the most sombre and sad moment in the country’s history when the PTI’s supporters inflicted severe damage to public and private properties.

"Such a spectacle has never been witnessed in the last 75 years," he said.

PM Shehbaz said that people were made hostages in their vehicles, patients were taken out of the ambulances and later, those vehicles were torched. Swat Motorway was damaged and the government officials were tortured.

Few elements were instigated against the armed forces, who showed disrespect for their Shuhada (martyrs), he added.

“The vicious campaign is still continuing. The harm the enemy could not cause in the last 75 years, these terrorists and enemies of the land are inflicting now,” he regretted.

PM Shehbaz Sharif also lauded the law enforcement agencies for their role in safeguarding the lives and properties of the public and the general public who refused to beguiled with the PTI’s violent tactics.