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Shehbaz Sharif targeting India to blunt Imran Khan’s narrative

New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had recently demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Umar Ata Bandial to constitute a “full court commission” to probe allegations levelled by PTI Chairman Imran Khan wherein he accused the premier, interior minister and a senior military official of orchestrating the failed assassination attempt on him, a media outlet reported.

The Prime Minister lashed out at PTI chief Imran Khan for accusing him and the senior military official of orchestrating the failed assassination bid on him during the long march, saying that India is using his statement to target Pakistan’s institutions, Express Tribune reported.

Sharif slammed the PTI chief for his comments against state institutions, particularly Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family and lamented about enemy nations “celebrating” the critical situation in Pakistan, Geo News reported.

“What else would an enemy country like India want? They are celebrating today. India’s TV channels are excited to see Khan speak ill about the ISI and military institutions as (the PTI chief) is levelling severe allegations against them that one couldn’t even think about,” Sharif said, deeming Khan an “idol of lies – from tip to toe”, Geo News reported.

Trying to manage a country hurtling from crisis to crisis, Sharif lamented Pakistan is seen as a country “always asking for money”.

In September, Sharif had presented a dismal picture of the country’s economy and regretted that friendly countries had started looking at Pakistan as a country that was always asking for money, Dawn reported.

“Today, when we go to any friendly country or make a phone call, they think that we have come (to them) to beg for money,” the Prime Minister regretted while add­ressing a lawyers’ convention.

He said that even sma­l­ler economies had surpassed Pakistan, “and we have been wandering for the past 75 years carrying a begging bowl”. There were countries in the region whose GDP was lower than Pakistan’s growth, but currently they were far ahead in terms of export, he told lawyers, Dawn reported.

“Where does Pakistan stand today after 75 years? This is a pinching question … We are moving in a circle all the time,” said Sharif, while declaring that they were in a ‘now or never’ situation.

He said the country had the potential but “there is a lack of will to do”.

Sharif said that the country’s economy was already facing a “challenging situation” before the floods, whi­ch had made it more “complicated”.

He has left for London after concluding his two-day trip to Egypt on Wednesday, where he attended the COP27 climate conference.

With PML-N supremo and elder brother Nawaz Sharif residing in London since November 2019 and the party’s vice-president, Maryam Nawaz joining her father in October, the premier’s trip to the metropolis has given rise to speculation that important decisions would be made during the visit, Dawn reported.

This is Shehbaz Sharif’s third trip to London since he assumed the country’s top office in April and comes ahead of the appointment of the new army chief, with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure set to end on November 29.



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