Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday opposed putting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan behind the bars immediately, reiterating his views against political vengeance.
The former premier while speaking with journalists in Islamabad said, “even if Imran Khan has done something, I’m not in favour of putting anyone in jail.”
Since allegations are made on a daily basis, he said, trials too should be conducted simultaneously.
Earlier, Abbasi had also opposed the plans to arrest former finance minister Shaukat Tarin for allegedly attempting to obstruct Pakistan’s talks with the IMF — International Monetary Fund.
Commenting on the ongoing cases against the PTI chief, the former PML-N’s senior vice-president said: “After completing this matter, punish Imran Khan if he has done anything.”
Abbasi added that Khan has done several wrong things and admitted the mistakes himself. “Imran Khan has himself spoken without any limits. I’m not referring to hearsay, but talking about his own confessions.”
The PML-N stalwart said that the PTI chief himself admitted to putting people in jail and apprehending them.
“Who authorised Imran Khan to make the cases? In principle, one should not have the authority to put any politician in jail because this power turns into vengeance,” Abbasi said while condemning the political victimisation.
He also highlighted that former prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo was the only premier who didn’t go to jail, while all others were imprisoned under the 1973 Constitution in the last 50 years.
‘Only Nawaz Sharif is my leader’
Clarifying rumours about a rift between him and his party’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz following his absence at the PML-N workers’ convention in the federal capital, the former premier said that Maryam came to Islamabad but he was not invited to the convention, as it was for that specific division.
“This was the Islamabad division’s convention. I’m from the Rawalpindi division. I’ll be there when Maryam will arrive in the Rawalpindi division on February 19,” Abbasi said brushing aside gossip on his allegedly rocky equation with the party’s senior vice-president.
He further said that Maryam had asked to meet him on Sunday, but Abbasi was in Lahore at the time attending a literary festival. “I told Maryam Nawaz not to come, as I’ll meet her in Lahore.”
The politician on Sunday also cleared the air about his party affiliation and said he would contest the upcoming elections only on the PML-N’s ticket.
Rumours started making rounds on social media that Abbasi was quitting the PML-N and setting up a new party comprising like-minded politicians since he resigned from the party’s key post soon after Maryam’s election as the senior vice-president and chief organiser.
In an exclusive conversation with Geo News, Abbasi said: “Only [PML-N supremo] Nawaz Sharif is my leader.”
Earlier this month, he had resigned from his senior vice-president post leaving room for rumour mills to churn out gossip on his relationship with the party. The development, however, was confirmed by PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s spokesperson Mohammad Zubair.