Party won’t let Nawaz return till Imran’s fascist regime in power

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 02:19 PM, 13 Dec, 2021
Pervaiz Rasheed
Pervaiz Rasheed - PML-N

Three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been staying in London for the past couple of years on the advice of the party (PML-N) and so far the party has not taken any decision to request him to return to Pakistan because of the fascist attitude of incumbent prime minister Imran Khan, says a former information minister who is also one of the most trusted colleagues of the PML-N supreme leader.  

Mr Pervaiz Rashid answered a number of questions asked by 24News about the prevailing situation.

The following is the text:    

Q: A senior PM-N leader (Mian Javed Lateef) had said some weeks ago that former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, who has been staying in London for the past two years for medical treatment, will return to Pakistan before the end of the year. Now that the year will come to an end after two weeks, there are no visible signs in this regard. What’s the update?

A: I don’t know on what basis had Mian Javed Lateef made the statement.  So far, the party has not permitted Mian Sahib to return to Pakistan. The party wants him to stay abroad. There is no change in our stance.

When we take a new decision, we’ll share it with the people.

Q: As a former prime minister, why doesn’t Mian Sb surrender to the court to set a healthy precedent for others?

A: Mian Sb had surrendered thrice before the courts. But the disclosures made by judges who had convicted him forced the party to urge its supreme leader to continue to stay out of the country.

Q:  Is it not a no-trust in the judicial system he gave the country during his three terms as the chief executive?

A: Nobody has any complaint against the judicial system. But the dozens of disclosures made by various judges about the system should not be ignored.  They made revelations about the execution of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; they made disclosures about the dismissal of Muhammad Khan Junejo’s government. Judge Arshad Malik and Justice Shaukat Siddiqui made startling revelations.

Then former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar’s audiotape, and former GB chief justice Rana Shamim’s affidavit are there.  They compelled us to reach the conclusion that Mian Nawaz Sharif should not come back to Pakistan.

Q: How long will he stay abroad?

A: A decision in this regard will be taken by the party.  When the party believes that there is no threat to Mian Nawaz Sharif’s life, he will be asked to stage a comeback.

But nobody should forget that the man at the helm (Imran Khan) had said that he would put Nawaz Sharif in jail and would persecute him. Then, he did the same. He subjected Mian Sb to unbearable persecution when he was in jail for a long time. Mian Sb’s condition deteriorated to an extent that even the ‘tyrant’ panicked.  From jail, he sent the PML-N leader abroad for treatment.

We cannot put Mian Sb in the same situation once again that threatens the very life of the former prime minister.

Q:  The opposition parties have not been able to mount enough pressure on the PTI government that could bring it to its knees and agree to hold fresh elections. Now that the government has completed some 40 months in power, will it not be right for the opposition to wind up its movement and let the government complete its mandated term?

A: We regard it our duty to represent the public sentiment. People are not ready to tolerate the present government even for a minute.  If the present setup is allowed to continue, people will start expressing their anger in different ways. They insist that the PTI government should not be given even a single minute in power.

Q: If you are representing public sentiment, then why your movement has failed to get the desired results?

A:  We are continuing our struggle through constitutional and democratic means.

So far, we have not been able to convince the PTI’s allies to part ways with the coalition.  The day we succeeded, the government would collapse.

Q: The country is going through a difficult economic situation because of which it has become very difficult for the common man to survive. Don’t you agree that this is the time for the opposition parties to join hands with the government to put the country back on track before any other undertaking?

A: This is not possible during Imran Khan’s tenure. The prime minister is in the habit of looking at everybody else from a negative perspective. He is a fascist, unfamiliar with parliamentary and democratic attitudes.  He doesn't listen to anyone; he is targeting everyone.  

Therefore, there is no room for cooperation with the PTI government.

Q:  But will it be possible if the prime minister changes his attitude?

A:  This is a hypothetical question. If he changes himself, we’ll examine the depth of the change and the factors responsible for it.

As a matter of fact, Imran Khan stands isolated in the party, at the national, regional and international levels.

If he cloaks himself as a changed person, we will have to fathom the reasons behind it.  

Categories : Exclusive
Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.