PM deplores ‘double standards of justice’ with Imran in graft cases

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday disapproving the “double standards of justice” being meted out to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan in his corruption cases said the coalition would take every step to ensure the rule of law in the country.
Chairing the meeting of the federal cabinet, he said other political leaders in the country faced trials and tough handling, while Imran Khan was given a “privileged treatment”. “These are the double standards of justice,” he said and expressed astonishment over the remarks of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during yesterday’s hearing where he said that he was pleased to meet Imran Khan.
He pointed out that thousands of cases by the general public were pending with the courts while some political figures were specially given the favour of bail on a priority basis. The prime minister said the judiciary earlier also protected Imran Khan in his corruption cases including the Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT), Billion Tree Tsunami tree plantation, and Malam Jabba development projects had solid proofs of corruption by PTI but the cases were not pursued.
He said Imran Khan was part of an agenda to bring fascist rule in the country for 10 years. He said May 9, after the debacle of December 16, 1971, was a painful day in the country’s history when Imran Khan’s party unleashed havoc by attacking national and military installations.
He recalled that despite the tragedy of the assassination of Pakistan Peoples Party leader Benazir Bhutto, his husband raised the slogan of ‘Pakistan Khappay’ meaning ‘We want Pakistan’ as a great gesture of nationalism. Also, nobody hit the military installations even after the “judicial murder” of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he added. Sharif recalled that at the time of the death of their mother, he was in prison but passed the time with patience rather than inciting the public for riots.
He said Imran Khan was the mastermind and planner behind the attacks on military institutions. He termed it a disgrace to the martyred military personnel who sacrificed their lives for the motherland. He said the country was passing through a difficult time and the coalition government was making efforts to address the inherited challenges.
He lambasted the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to push the country toward the brink of a dangerous situation. He recalled that the PTI chief for months made false and shameless claims about his ouster from the rule through “regime change” by the United States. Sharif said the coalition government made tireless efforts to mend relations with the US in a diplomatic manner, while Imran Khan ultimately changed his stance against the U.S.
He pointed out that besides maneuvering the situation with International Monetary Fund, Khan made every effort for the country to be declared a default. He said Imran Khan incurred every possible damage to the very fabric of society by promoting hatred and intolerance.
Meanwhile, the Federal Cabinet on Friday, while endorsing the statement of the Pakistan Army spokesperson, called for no leniency against those involved in the organised violence against the state, Constitution and law, besides hurting the nation’s dignity, following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a corruption case on May 9.
The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, also called for making such elements an example by taking strict action against them under the Constitution and the law. The meeting expressed concerns over the situation in the country, observing that through such violence the leader of a “miscreant and foreign-funded” party had inflicted damage to Pakistan which the arch-enemy even could not do during the last 75 years.
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar briefed the meeting about the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case as per law and his sudden release on the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Briefing the meeting, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah condemned the attack by PTI workers on sensitive national institutions, buildings, Jinnah House, desecration of martyrs monument, arsons, impeding national broadcast, blocking Swat Motorway, burning of Radio Pakistan and other public and private buildings, violence on government officials and citizens, and even burning of ambulances after removing the patients.
The minister said such violent acts could not be termed constitutional and democratic protest rather it was terrorism and anti-state activities which could not be tolerated. The cabinet paid homage to the people of Pakistan for showing indifference to the arrest of the mastermind of Rs 60 billion corruption, anti-state activities and terrorism, and instead supported the Constitution and law.
It also paid tribute to the armed forces, Pakistan Rangers, police and law enforcement agencies for risking their lives to protect the lives and properties of the people as well as the government amidst firing by the armed miscreants. The meeting expressed solidarity with the law enforcement agencies and made it clear that they stood by them for action against those creating lawlessness.
The cabinet expressed concern over the “interference” by the Chief Justice of Pakistan in an “open and shut” case of corruption and corrupt practices which led to the arrest of Imran Khan as per the law. The meeting also regretted President Arif Alvi’s letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday which the cabinet members believed was tantamount to acting like a party worker, instead of the head of state.