(MENAFN – Gulf Times) In fiery retaliation to the opposition alliance campaigning to overthrow his government, Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday promised to release the ‘new Imran Khan, saying he would try his best to bring back’ the fugitive former prime minister. Nawaz Sharif from London and put him in a normal prison without the luxury of ‘VVIP airs.
Addressing the ‘Tiger Force’ convention – a youth volunteer force formed by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to participate in nation-building – he called the October 16 demonstration of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Gujranwala Friday night a ‘circus, said the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who fled abroad by defrauding the government, was targeting military and state institutions to create chaos in the country.
He accused Sharif of being able to sell the country for his own gain, noting that he had spoken against the country’s military chiefs and the DG of Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).
Sharif accused the security forces of being behind his overthrow as prime minister and for “bringing Imran Khan to power.” He attacked soldiers and ISI leaders by name while addressing the PDM’s first force show in Gujranwala via video link.
The remarks came less than a month after soldiers and ISI leaders in a meeting with key opposition figures advised them to refrain from ‘dragging the military into political trouble.
Sharif questioned ‘who made the country above state and who is responsible for the two governments in the country, among other things, before blaming the names of the two security chiefs.
This is not the first time Sharif has pursued military leadership; during a multiparty opposition conference last month, he had criticized it harshly, saying there were ‘circumstances above the states in the country. However, he refrained from mentioning anyone at that time.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Khan, on condition of anonymity, said (PML-N Vice President) Maryam Nawaz and (Pakistan People’s Party Chair) Bilawal Bhutto never earned a penny by hard work.
‘I predicted 11 years ago that they would all come together. You saw that they all gathered at the PDM rally, recalls the prime minister.
Addressing the two (Maryam is Sharif’s daughter and Bilawal’s son of former president Asif Zardari), the PM said that both of them grew up on the illicit income of their respective fathers, so there is no point commenting on them. ‘Nobody in Bollywood can act like Bilawal and Maryam, he admonished.
He underlined that Tiger Force has an important role to play and has helped the district government in dealing with crisis situations.
Earlier this year, a month after Pakistan confirmed its first coronavirus case, the PM launched the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Assistance Tiger Force, known as the Tiger Force, which enlisted young volunteers from across the country to help fight the coronavirus.
However, the scope of the police has expanded since its inception and volunteers are now assisting various other government projects. These include propulsion tree plantations, waste management projects and Pakistan’s fight against the country’s worst locust invasion in more than 25 years.
Volunteers, including men and women, have registered through a government application, and are working in various regions across the country in coordination with local governments.
Volunteers have helped district governments implement standard coronavirus operating procedures such as social distancing in mosques and public places, distributing food and other basic necessities to the poor.
‘I need Tiger Force to supervise stockpiling, but volunteers don’t need to interfere in official matters, they just need to report stockpiling on the troop portal, he advised.
‘Volunteer troops have a high position in society, because you have to protect the rights of our citizens. This is a big role in democracy: Tiger, you have a big role to play. Pakistanis are a nation that defends their country, he said.
Regarding inflation and rising prices for essential commodities, the PM said there were many reasons for the price increases.
“There is a shortage of wheat because in the last two years it has rained at the wrong time because of climate change,” he said.
‘I have called you today because there is inflation in our country and there are many reasons for that. The rupee has fallen against the dollar because when we got government we ran the biggest trade deficit (in the history of the country).
‘There’s a $ 40 billion trade deficit. When the rupee falls, whatever we buy from outside, the price goes up – like gas, gasoline and electricity – all of this goes up.
Referring again to the irregular rainfall, which he blamed for the wheat shortage, the PM said, ‘It rains when the wheat should be threshed. That’s lowering the supply of wheat, and we’re looking at a deficit. We need 7.2 million tonnes of wheat. When there is a deficit, the price of wheat goes up.
“We found out too late about these shortcomings, because the system we have is not correct. We reduce the deficit by importing [wheat].
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