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No concession for those speaking against Pak Army: PM

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif. Source: FILE.

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said that his government would complete its term in August 2023, however the date for fresh elections would be announced after consultation with PML-N’s allies.

Speaking to a group of journalists in Lahore on Sunday, the prime minister said that Maryam Nawaz Sharif went with the heat of the moment during her speech at the Fatah Jang rally on Friday and she did not mean to attack anyone.

“Maryam will never resort to “character assassination” of anyone. I or Nawaz Sharif cannot think of anyone’s character assassination,” he added.

Shehbaz Sharif said that social media was rife with the reports of “video leaks” but the government had instructed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take stern action.

He said the PML-N’s way of politics did not support personal attacks against anyone.

When a reporter drew his attention to the latest statement from the ISPR, Shehbaz Sharif said that the Pakistan Army has rendered numerous sacrifices for the country and the institution represented 220 million Pakistanis, not any particular group or party.

He said that no concession would be offered to people speaking against the Pakistan Army.

Speaking about Pakistan’s foreign relations, Shehbaz Sharif said that China is the closest friend of Pakistan but the Imran Khan government had angered it. Similarly, he said, Saudi Arabia and UAE were not happy with Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the United States was a superpower and his government wanted good relations with the country on equal footing.

Refuting Imran khan’s claims about the cheaper import of oil and wheat from Russia, Shehbaz Sharif said no such agreement existed between Pakistan and Russia.

Asked about the appointment of the new chief of army staff that is due in November, the prime minister said that the question about November was premature.

He said that the NAB chairman will complete his term the next month and the government would discuss the issue with other political parties.

In response to a question about Imran Khan’s planned long march on Islamabad, the prime minister said what this laadla (spoiled brat) would get by marching on Islamabad. He did nothing in his nearly four years of government, Shehbaz said.

The prime minister said that the government would soon announce a commission to probe Imran Khan’s claims about a foreign conspiracy.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the date for fresh elections would be announced after consultation with PML-N’s allies, though his government would complete its term in August 2023.  

He said that PML-N and its allies would join hands to run for the upcoming elections.

The prime minister said that the government would not allow PTI to make any anarchist move. What is the justification for a long march? Did we win a rigged election, he asked and said that it was Imran Khan who benefitted from compromised polls.

Shehbaz Sharif said that PTI’s 2014 sit-in hurt the country’s economy.

He also said that Imran Khan was no Einstein and hence there was no reason for the nation to follow him.

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