Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday landed a fresh blow on Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that he is called a 'puppet' leader in India, news agency PTI reported. The former prime minister made these remarks at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) general meeting held in Lahore. He attended the meeting virtually through a video link from London. He is currently getting treated for a heart condition in London. Nawaz Sharif was deposed from the premier position after he was convicted in two corruption cases in Pakistan. However, former speaker of National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has hinted that Sharif is expected to return to Pakistan 'very soon'.
1. "In India, Imran Khan is called a 'puppet' and in the United States, it is said that he (Imran) has powers even less than that of a mayor. This is because the world knows how he has been brought to power. Imran has not come into power by the votes of the people but with help of (the) military establishment," Nawaz Sharif said.
2. Taking a jibe at the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, Sharif also said that the chiefs have imposed a puppet government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf through a rigged general election in 2018.
3. The three-time former premier also criticized the Imran-Khan-led government for poorly handling matters related to Pakistan's economy. "This man (Imran Khan) used to say that he would prefer suicide than going to the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Now we are waiting when he commits suicide,” Sharif said. “In the name of new Pakistan (naya Pakistan) inept and incompetent people like Imran Khan were imposed on the nation that ruined the country's economy," he added.
4. Sharif also said that the reason behind the country's decline is that the Constitution is never held supreme and oaths are never honoured."Even the people's opinions are kept hostage. If Pakistan wants to move towards prosperity, then lessons need to be learned from the past. If we are to bring back the glory days of the country, we need to give people the right to franchise," he said.
5. The 71-year-old Sharif was removed from his position after being convicted in cases related to the Panama Papers. The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in 2018 and was also sentenced to ten years of prison term. Later, the Lahore High Court permitted him to go abroad for four weeks to receive medical treatment and he has been living in London since November 2019.
6. “I know how brave Imran Khan is. We know on whose backing (military establishment) he puts up a brave face and challenges his political opponents. When Imran had gone to jail (during General Pervez Musharraf's regime) for four to five days he would cry behind bars. Seeing this, the then government released him,” said former foreign minister Khawaja Asif who also happens to be a close aide to Sharif.