• Sat. Mar 4th, 2023

Asif fears ‘bloodshed’ after Imran accuses Zardari of assassination plot

Minister of Defence Pakistan Khawaja Asif addressing a news conference in Sialkot on January 29, 2023. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive
Minister of Defence Pakistan Khawaja Asif addressing a news conference in Sialkot on January 29, 2023. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

Castigating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan over fresh allegation against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Sunday that the ex-premier came up with a “new mantra” against the former president.

Earlier on Friday, Khan alleged that the PPP stalwart has been formulating a plan and financing “terrorists” to kill him. 

“In our country’s politics, neither have opponents been assassinated nor will they be in the future,” the defence minister said while addressing a press conference in Sialkot. 

Only political differences have remained which shall be continuing in the future, he added.

According to the defence minister, with Khan’s statement, the PPP leadership is facing a life threat. “The PPP is a party that despite embracing the martyrdom of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto continued its political journey.”

“By accusing Asif Ali Zardari of his assassination plot, Imran Khan is trying to turn the mood of politics towards violence,” the defence minister lamented.

The PTI chief, Asif said, had played his new card which could culminate in bloodshed. “Imran’s allegations started from America [against toppling his PTI govt] and reached Mohsin Naqvi [Punjab’s caretaker chief minister].”

While responding to the question regarding the recent arrest of PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry, Asif said: “Leaders should not be incarcerated on the basis of false cases. If things are carried out in a political manner, no one will take any action.”

If any institution feels threatened, then the law should come into action, he added.

He went on to say that during the PTI’s own government, it had arrested opponents of its choice by accusing them that they were “intimidating the judiciary and talking loosely about [state] institutions”.

Referring to Khan’s consistent criticism of the army, Asif said: “Imran called President [Arif Alvi] and asked him to arrange a meeting with the army chief. Initially, he used abusive language against the chief of the [army] institution and then he wished to meet him.”

While talking about the PTI’s lawmakers’ mass resignation and their acceptance, the defence minister said: “Earlier, they abandoned the assemblies and now ask the military to talk to them.”

On the question of Khan’s arrest, he replied by saying: “If Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, and other leaders can be arrested on the basis of false cases. then why can’t he be arrested on the true ones?”

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