Nawaz Sharif accuses Pak Army Chief of rigging 2018 polls
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Pakistan's former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has accused the military and the intelligence agency of being behind his ouster as premier and installing their "puppet government" by bringing Imran Khan into power.
Sharif was addressing the first power show of the alliance of 11 opposition parties -- Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) -- in Gujranwala, some 80 km from Lahore, late on Friday night via video link from London.
On September 20, the opposition parties announced the formation of the PDM and launch of a three-phased anti-government movement under an “action plan” starting with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies before a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad in January 2021 to oust the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government.
Targeting the military leadership, Sharif told the gathering: "(Army chief) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa ended my government. He rigged 2018 elections and imposed incapable Imran Khan on the nation. Gen. Bajwa is a direct culprit and he will have to give an answer to this."
Bajwa is directly responsible for the miseries and sufferings of the people by imposing an inept PTI government, the Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) chief alleged.
He also accused the Inter-Services Intelligence of being behind the fall of his government and said the entire episode happened with the help of ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.
"You (Hammed) will have to answer this too," he said, accusing the military and the ISI of "installing" their "puppet government by bringing Imran Khan into power".
"I ask the people present in the rally, don't be afraid to mention the name who imposed this incapable Imran on us," the three-time prime minister said.
Referring to the military, 70-year-old Sharif said, "You can label me a traitor if you want, seize my properties, file false cases against me but I will continue to speak for my people."
"They call us traitors...this is not new...PML-N's mandate was stolen and a nalayak (incapable) and puppet Imran Khan was brought into power," he said.
The PML-N chief, currently out on bail, is facing multiple corruption charges. The Islamabad High Court had allowed him to go to London for medical treatment in November last year.
This is not the first time that Sharif has gone after the military leadership. During the opposition's multiparty conference last month, he had bitterly criticised the army, saying there was “a state above the state in the country”. However, he had refrained from naming anyone.