ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan criticised the prime minister’s ‘silence’ during the recent Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh.
Talking to the media on Monday, he said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should have commented on US President Donald Trump’s speech wherein he accused Iran of fuelling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” and called for its international isolation.
When the Parliament had decided through a unanimous resolution that it would not become party in any conflict in the Middle East, why did Nawaz not clarify his country’s position in front of the world, asked the opposition leader. “It is not in Pakistan’s interest to become part of others’ conflicts,” he commented.
He said there is a general consensus that Pakistan is a foreign policy disaster, adding that with the premier holding the additional portfolio as of the foreign minister as well, with such a poor foreign policy he should resign as the foreign minister at least.
“[Nawaz] should have talked about the plight of Kashmiris and Palestinians…instead he wasn’t even allowed to speak despite working on a speech for hours,” claimed Imran.
When asked to comment on the army’s version regarding its former chief Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif heading the Saudi-led Islamic military coalition, Imran said during his meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa, he was told “Raheel’s role [in the coalition] will be to curtail conflict in Muslim world.”
Talking about the Supreme Court’s proceedings regarding the Panama case earlier in the day, the PTI chief said nowhere in the world does an elected prime minister facing a criminal investigation continue to hold office and represent the country abroad.
Commenting on the federal government’s ongoing crackdown against social media activists —some of them belonging to the PTI —he said the government is “shutting down democracy.” Responding to reports that the suspects being detained by the Federal Investigation Agency are involved in posting anti-army content on social media, he said “it is the federal government which is anti-army, as the Dawn Leaks issue proved, and not the social media activists.”
When asked about the party’s preparations for the upcoming elections, he said they are working hard to ensure the next general elections have “neutral umpires”. “[Asif] Zardari also now terms the last polls as ‘RO elections’ but when we were out protesting [against polls rigging] he sided with Nawaz,” lamented Imran, saying all political parties should first agree on all electoral procedures and then take part in the polls.
Earlier, before entering the Supreme Court for the Panama hearing, Imran lamented that the prime minister was not given a chance to speak during the Riyadh summit.
“The world does not respect those who do not respect themselves,” he said.