Imran in for total political failure: Asif

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif on Monday said PTI Chairman Imran Khan was heading gradually towards a complete political failure as all his decisions were proving wrong and miscalculated.

Addressing a news conference here, the minister clarified that the nominees presented by the PTI and others did not have good exercise as one the nominee is a serving government employee and the other was a dual national.

“Their vetting was not good for these nominees. So that’s why they had to face humiliation in this case,” he added. Moreover, he said, the government’s nominees had one ex-civil servant and one media personality, he said,adding, PTI also gave the name of another honourable bureaucrat who himself excused from accepting the the task.

“Hence the PTI’s objection on Naqvi’s appointment is a fake cry.” While clarifying the media about the allegations of plea bargain against the interim Punjab chief minister, he said Naqvi’s name was dragged into an issue of NAB plea bargain but the fact was that he had taken some loan from the accused in Haris Steel Mill case in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

“Naqvi provided a cheque with a letter during the probe and returned the loan to the accused. A few news articles erroneously reported it as a matter of plea bargain whereas one letter could not be considered as a plea bargain.

“And, if he has done anything illegal then we are not going to defend him,” he added. He added that the appointment of interim Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi could not be challenged as the process has passed all codal formalities starting from the leader of the opposition to the ECP.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), he said it was propitious to have a unanimous nomination for KP interim chief minister. Responding to media queries, he said the general elections would be held on time by the will of Allah.

Commenting on the National Assembly situation, the defence minister said the PTI tendered resignations at the NA after hurling abuses on the Assembly and used foul language against the Parliament which was known to all.

“Imran Khan used indecent language against the NA and now they all want to return to the same platform. They [PTI] are demanding justice from the Election Commission of Pakistan whom they rebuked indiscriminately.”

The minister said the PTI leaders and MNAs were demanding withdrawal of their resignations, whereas they should have led the opposition earlier and avoided confrontation with the Parliament.

Imran Khan, he said, was a failed project and he wanted to revive himself on the political scene, adding, “I believe that he is gradually losing ground in the political arena.” He said that historically, Imran Khan always resigned after becoming an MNA.

“Imran Khan is losing sanity and becoming obsessive as his behavior, his political conduct and backing out of political decisions qualify him to an uncertain state of mind. Any individual with a stable mind can never make such statements and decisions. The price for that is being paid by his workers and MNAs,” Asif said, adding Imran has changed his narrative and backed out from his anti-America narrative.

“Khan used to praise former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary, then criticised him. He also praised former ECP head late Justice (R) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim who was a great person and then also passed degraded remarks against him. They used to praise former COAS General Bajwa a lot and then their remarks are also evident to the nation.

“Gen (retd) Bajwa and the nation are also listening to it what they [PTI leadership[ used to say earlier.” The defence minister said Pakistan was a responsible state and its nuclear programme had been globally endorsed as one of the safest programmes in the world.

Commenting on the rising inflation and economic situation, he said the prevailing crisis was mainly what the coalition government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had inherited after the failure of Project Imran Khan, adding that “we received only wreckage”.

“We are struggling to improve the system and paying a huge political cost for our decision. No government can fulfill its claims in six months or a year,” he added. The minister underlined that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) would continue its narrative of “Respect for Vote” which was the part of the Constitution, adding, “I took oath on it and its applicable on all of us.”

He also underlined that the journalists’ impartiality was not their obligation and they could have a tilt towards any political ideology.

“There are many channels and journalists having political inclinations.” Responding to another query, he said not a single inch of Pakistan was under terrorists influence rather the peace was hard earned due to the sacrifices of the nation’s martyrs.