Pakistan's Khan accused rival Sharif of "playing India's game"


Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has criticized political rival and three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for criticizing the country's powerful military, calling it "India's game", as it has created a bitter political rift in the South Asian nation. The quarrel is deepening.

Pakistan's Khan accused rival Sharif of "playing India's game"


Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party that came to power in 2018, was speaking during an interview aired late on Thursday.

"Now he [Sharif] has gone [to Britain] and is playing the Indian game. He is sitting there and attacking Pakistan. He is getting 100% support [from India], he is a coward and he could not do anything without it, “Khan said.

The prime minister has been responding to new attacks on the government by Sharif in recent weeks, whose Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has joined an opposition coalition to overthrow Khan's government.

Sharif had been living in the UK since last November, when he left Pakistan for medical treatment on a blood platelet issue and doctors said his life was in danger. He was convicted in 2018 on corruption charges and jailed, but was granted bail on appeal.

Earlier on Thursday, Sharif addressed party leaders at a high-level meeting via video link, accusing the government of using "double standards of accountability" in its anti-corruption campaign.

On Monday, anti-corruption officials arrested Nawaz's younger brother and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif after his bail application was rejected’ in a corruption case.

Following the cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl faction) chief Fazlur Rehman and other leaders, Khan has made anti-corruption a center of his power.

Several key opposition figures, including Shahbaz Sharif's son, are behind bars, while others are out on bail as they face charges in court.

Critics say the accountability campaign has been one-sided, disproportionately targeting Khan's political opponents, while members of his PTI or its allies have been largely left untouched.

"Anti-corruption watchdogs are reluctant to take action against people on one side of the political divide, [1] while individuals on the other side are being detained for months and years without any reason. A Supreme Court has ruled in a corruption case in July.

"Shall we defame the army forever?"
Last month, the country's main opposition parties, including Sharif's Muslim League-N, Pakistan People's Party (PPP), JUI-F and several other smaller groups, launched the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance. What was, and was accused’ of being the target of this country's army. Interference in governance.

Pakistan's military, currently led by Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, has ruled Pakistan for half of its 73-year history, and has maintained control over major aspects of the country's foreign and security policies.

Under Khan, the military has been increasingly involved in governance, working with the government on economic issues, responding to the COVID-19 crisis and managing the 60 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Has played a role.

Khan's opponents allege that he had the support of the military in the 2018 general election, and that the anti-corruption campaign was used’ to deter his rivals, a charge he denies.

In an interview on Thursday, Khan described the army's massive occupation of the country as a "mistake" by some.

"If in the past, an army chief made a mistake, would we defame the army forever?" He asked. “[The past] is only for learning. What did we learn? We have learned that the army's job is not to run the government.

Nawaz Sharif was forced’ to step down as prime minister in 2017 on corruption charges, and was sentenced and jailed a year later, just days before the general election.

In a speech earlier this week, Sharif accused former Pakistani intelligence chief Zaheerul Islam of threatening to overthrow his government in 2014, when Khan was leading anti-government protests in the capital, Islamabad. ۔

Also on Thursday, Pakistan's media regulator, a government-run body, issued orders banning the broadcasting of speeches or statements by people convicted of the crime or evading arrest. Strengthening press freedom under Khan.

International Media Rights Group Reporters Wit Borders ranks Pakistan 145th out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index.


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