LAHORE: A federal minister on Monday put Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in an odd situation during a presser when he asked the PML-N president to tell the nation as to why he was not arresting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan despite his tirade against the institutions, and the reason behind not doing anything to “ensure justice” for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

Minister Mian Javed Latif, who is yet to be assigned a portfolio in the Shehbaz’s cabinet, showed his frustration during a press conference at the party headquarters in Model Town here on Monday over the government’s failure to arrest Imran Khan and bring back the deposed premier Nawaz Sharif from London, where he has been apparently living in self-exile since November 2019.

“I would like to ask the prime minister why he is not taking the nation into confidence over the matter of (his elder brother) Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan. Nawaz is not getting justice and Imran is not being arrested. Will the PM tell the people the reasons behind this?” Latif questioned.

He went on to say the people were looking up to the prime minister to act.

Maryam too demands action against Imran

“I want to tell PM Shehbaz to listen to the voice of the people before they take to the street for justice. If he fails to ensure justice for Nawaz and the party of Bhutto, the people will come out on roads,” he warned.

Mr Latif, who was reportedly included in the federal cabinet on the recommendation of Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N vice president and daughter of Nawaz Sharif, despite not being even on talking terms with Mr Shehbaz, for questioning the party president’s alleged links with the establishment, also questioned the premier’s claim that he sacrificed his party’s politics for the state.

“If you (Shehbaz) say we sacrificed politics for the state, then I want to say the state will only be saved if action is taken against Imran Khan. I propose constitution of a parliamentary commission to probe into tirades against the institutions and those found guilty be given punishment. If this cant be done, the parliament should be shut down,” he said.

Latif said that despite being “innocent” , Nawaz was living abroad.

When a journalist reminded the minister of Nawaz’s tirade against the incumbent army chief and former ISI heads, Mr Latif claimed: “Nawaz never attacked institutions.”

Latif, an MNA from Sheikhupura district, had gone to jail last year for a few weeks for ‘inciting people against the state institutions, including the army’. In a television programme, he had said his party won’t say “Pakistan Khappay” (Long live Pakistan) if anything happened to Maryam Nawaz. After this episode, Latif became ‘favourite’ of Maryam.

Maryam: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has urged the ‘powers that be’ not to treat Imran Khan as a political leader.

“Stop treating Imran like a political leader because he’s not. He has been launched & funded to wreck & ruin Pak & plunge the nation into pits of misery & despair. He has waged a war on our country by attacking its stability, economy, society, media & now its Armed Forces. Pak will never reel from the shock & continue to go downhill if he’s not declared & dealt with as a double-dealer by all the stakeholders including judiciary,” she said in a tweet on Monday.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2022

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