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Shah, Saad Criticize PM Imran, Term His Address “Aggressive”

Islamabad (November 01, 2018): The opposition on Thursday criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation, terming it “aggressive” in view of the prevailing law and order situation in the country following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death over blasphemy allegations.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for “running away” from the Parliament at a time when the country is threatened by unrest, and said the premier’s body language was “aggressive” when he addressed the nation yesterday.

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He lashed out at Prime Minister over the premier’s address to the nation on Asia Bibi’s acquittal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the subsequent negative reactions by some religio-political parties.

“I strongly condemn the prime minister’s address to the nation. The chief executive of the state should not have said what he said,” remarked Shah, adding that he could not even “repeat” parts of PM Khan’s speech.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan should have been [here in the Parliament] today. The roads are blocked, people have been restricted to their homes, there is [violence]. He should not be running away. The PM and the interior minister should have been present here today,” Shah said.Shah said that the PM had repeated the words uttered by the leaders of TLP, which were not shown by the media. “The kind of language used against institutions cannot be repeated.”

“We fear the anarchy may spread. We are not talking about [our] vote bank. We should [all] be worried at the state of affairs. I strongly condemn the speech by PM yesterday,” he added.

“He [PM Khan] told the whole world what the media was hiding; it was good that media was not showing all this [protests] as they have the sense that it will not be good for the country. But social media is showing everything”.Further criticising PM Khan over his address, Shah said that yesterday, the tone of the premier was aggressive.

“There was violence in his tone. You cannot bring peace with this tone,” he added.

The former opposition leader asked PM Khan to come to the parliament prior to his trip to China. The premier is scheduled to depart tonight.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Saad Rafique, voicing similar thoughts, said a ruler’s attitude should not be “so aggressive” and the prime minister should have taken the House into confidence today over the matter.

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“The religion card that you used against [the previous government] in the past, is now being used against you,” Rafique said while addressing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

“You used to talk of lockdowns and blocking roads. Now it’s being said that blocking the roads is not in the interests of the nation,” the PML-N leader remarked.

Rafique said the comments and threats against the national institutions were unacceptable, and he did not want to gain any political advantage at the expense of the situation.Addressing the National Assembly earlier today, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood slammed Khursheed Shah for “playing politics” instead of standing behind Prime Minister Imran Khan in his resolve to keep the writ of the state intact.

“Khursheed Shah condemned Imran Khan’s speech but did not condemn those people who are challenging the writ of the state,” pointed out Mahmood. “Instead of praising the prime minister for taking a bold stand, he is criticising him.”

“The prime minister is not in the house but yesterday, he addressed 200 million people of this country directly. I condemn Khursheed Shah for using this matter for small political gains.

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“Imran khan has categorically stated that the writ of the state would be established at any cost. It is duty of the government to implement the top court’s verdicts. Yet, people are doing politics over the court’s verdict,” said Mahmood.

The minister stressed that it was the government’s responsibility to maintain law and order. “The state’s writ was challenged [yesterday], the law and order situation was challenged. Unfortunately, politics was played on the Supreme Court’s judgment,” he lamented.

Instead of doing politics, this is a very good opportunity to come together, to unite, Mahmood urged.‘Time to unite, not play politics’.The PTI leader, referring to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s statement calling on the National Assembly and other institutions to stand with the Supreme Court, expressed his astonishment that a veteran leader like Khursheed Shah could be saying something so conflicting.

The NA session has been adjourned for a break. Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif is also in attendance.

Related News:

PM Warns To Act, If Protesters Don’t Call Off Protests

Supreme Court Acquits Asia Bibi in Blasphemy Case