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Only aim of PTI’s long march is to stop govt from appointing army chief: Maryam

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  • The PML-N vice president says that PTI chief Imran Khan is “no longer a stakeholder in Pakistani politics”.
  • Khan had looted up to Rs50 million from the Toshakhana.
  • She says it needs a criminal-minded person to spend public’s money so lavishly on jalsas without having an iota of remorse.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday “exposed” the “actual agenda” of PTI’s long march towards Islamabad and said that it has not been arranged for the sake of the nation but its purpose is to stop the incumbent government from appointing the next army chief.

Speaking during a press conference in London, the PML-N vice president said that “Khan should know that the appointment of the army chief is rightfully, constitutionally, and legally the right of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. And God willing, the process will be carried out amicably in a good environment.”

PM Shehbaz has said that Khan contacted the government last month for discussing two matters — one of them being the appointment of the army chief. However, the premier refused to discuss it with him, she said.

The extended term of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will come to an end on November 29 and the coalition government has time and again stressed that his successor will be appointed in due course and in line with the Constitution.

“Imran Khan’s 22-year political struggle revolves around General Musharraf, Pasha, Zaheer ul Islam, and those whom he calls his eyes and ears,” Maryam said. 

‘Aimless, part-time long march’

The PML-N leader said the “part-time” long march ends within two hours after it starts, and it is stuck in Lahore despite the passage of five days. “And now, we are hearing reports that it will take eight to ten more days  to reach Islamabad.”

Maryam said at this pace — when Khan leaves for the march after breakfast and leaves for Lahore for tea in the evening — his caravan would not reach Islamabad even after a month.

“These were such serious lies that DG ISI [Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum] had to come out and address a press conference.”

Maryam said since it was the DG ISI who even avoids taking photos, the nation should understand the seriousness of the situation.

She also sent condolences to the family of deceased journalist Sadaf Naeem — who was crushed to death in the line of duty while climbing down PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s container during the march — and said that the incident forced her to think about the purpose of PTI’s long march.

“A precious life was lost. A mother of young children passed away while covering the long march. It forced me to ponder over the purpose of the long march,” she said.

Maryam added that had the march been arranged by someone who had not been in power before, it would have made sense, but someone who ruled the country for four years need not hold such marches.

“Look at any area, be it economy, foreign relations, foreign policy, or governance, Imran Khan destroyed all of them during his tenure.”

She said that the way the PTI-led government trampled upon the economy of the country, which led to skyrocketing inflation, Khan should not even be able to utter a word anymore. 

“Yet, he has taken out a rally on the streets of Pakistan,” she said. Criticising the march further, Maryam said that personnel of the Punjab Police employed to provide security to Khan greatly outnumbered the participants of the march. 

“Millions of taxpayers’ money is being spent to provide security to a march which is aimless and holds no national agenda,” she said, adding that it certainly needs a criminal-minded person to spend the public’s money so lavishly without having an iota of remorse. 

‘Last plan’

She further said that the narrative of a conspiracy that Khan built following his ouster has been exposed. 

“One after the other, his lies started unfolding before the nation which is why the masses are largely indifferent to this long march,” she said.

The PML-N vice president added that this long march was the PTI’s last plan. “Prior to that, they continued building the narrative of a foreign conspiracy to mount pressure on the government and spewed many lies.  

Maryam added that since Khan failed to dissolve the incumbent government and couldn’t ask for a date for the election, he resorted to this aimless long march.

‘Biggest opponent Nawaz is yet to step onto electoral field’ 

The PML-N vice president further censured Khan for bragging about winning the byelections and said that “he wins from constituencies which he himself vacates and then sings his own praise of winning the elections.”

She dared Khan and said that he should wait for his biggest opponent — PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif — who has “not yet been given a level-playing field”.

“Khan’s actual level will be exposed on the day Nawaz will get a chance to step onto the electoral field,” she maintained, adding that the PML-N supremo will “Insha Allah return after ridding himself of all the baseless allegations Khan levelled against him.”

“And that day is not far away, because [when my case was being heard in the court] the judges clearly said that none of the allegations against Nawaz Sharif has been proven on the basis of which Maryam was convicted.”

‘Another big scandal to be exposed soon’

Maryam then questioned Khan about his anti-establishment rhetoric and asked: “Even if we assume that the establishment had told you that the government leaders are thieves, did they tell you to ask for a 5-carat diamond ring? Was it the establishment that told you to steal items from the Toshakhana and secretly sell them? Did they tell you not to declare the money you earned by selling those gifts? Did the establishment tell you to siphon off Rs50 billion? Did they tell you to make Pinky Peerni [Bushra Bibi] your front woman to carry out massive corruption?”

“Even his party members, who he gathered from other parties including PML-N, PPP, etc., know that he is not a blue-eyed boy anymore. That’s why they are not part of the long march either.”

She said that the court should take notice of Khan’s statement as he is continuously lying about not being disqualified. 

Maryam claimed that another big scandal will be exposed soon. “Pakistan had received a diamond set by Graff, one of the leading diamond-manufacturing companies in the world. Khan bought it from the Toshakhana for a price of Rs2 million but sold it off in Dubai for Rs22 million.”

Maryam further said that in total, Khan had looted up to Rs50 million from the Toshakhana, which is a property of the nation.

“He will be exposed soon,” she said. “Khan is no longer a stakeholder in Pakistani politics”.

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Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich postpones the £190 million corruption lawsuit until June 21.

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The £190 million corruption case at Adiala Jail was heard by Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich of the Accountability Court. The hearing was postponed until June 21.

The cross-examination and statement of one witness took place during the case hearing. At the next hearing, four more witnesses will be put through cross-examination.

Up to now, 30 witness statements have been recorded, of which 22 have already undergone cross-examination.

Bushra Bibi, the founder of the PTI, was in court today throughout the proceedings.

The PTI’s legal representatives in the lawsuit included Shoaib Shaheen, Niazullah Niazi, Salman Akram Raja, and Ali Zafar.

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Nationwide protest gatherings will be held by the PTI on June 14.

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Zahir Shah, the minister of food for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) will stage protests across the country to demand the release of PTI founder Imran Khan.

On June 14, protests around the country would take place, according to Zahir Shah Toru.

He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister had made plans for protests in every district.

In the protests, fictitious accusations made against PTI founder Imran Khan and its leadership will be denounced.

There would be no breaking of the law or the constitution, according to KP Minister Zahir Shah.

At 5:00 p.m., the Mardan demonstration will take place.

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Shah Mehmood, founder of the PTI, and others found not guilty in Azadi March case

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Information suggests that court magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran exonerated Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Sheikh Rasheed, the chief of AML, in addition to announcing the reserved verdict.

Acquittal of Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan from the Azadi March case was also ordered by the court.

It should be mentioned that numerous prominent members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), like as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, and others, were apprehended by the police in separate complaint letters pertaining to the Azadi March.

Following unrest between police and the PTI leader in the provincial capital, 42 charges were filed against PTI senior leaders and workers for agitation.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously found former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi not guilty in a case involving ciphers.

Decisions on appeals from the cipher case’s conviction were announced by Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC.

The party’s vice-chairman and founder, who was convicted in a similar case in January of this year, received 10-year prison sentences apiece.

On the other hand, Qureshi’s arrest in the crimes that occurred on May 9th and Imran’s sentences in the Toshakhana and Iddat cases mean that they are unlikely to be released from prison anytime soon.

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