Imran says will take Toshakhana gift buyer to court
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday slammed attempts to slander him through ‘propaganda’ using a ‘fugitive’ and linking an alleged sale of a gifted watch, adding that he will approach the courts over the matter.
He said this while addressing a rally in Jehlum and Sargodha via video link from his Lahore’s Zaman Town mansion on Wednesday,
Imran addressed the elephant in the room, the claims made by UAE-based businessperson Umar Farooq Zahoor that he had paid $2 million in cash for a rare watch, pen, ring and cufflink set which Imran had received as a gift from the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman during a state visit to Saudi Arabia soon after taking oath as prime minister in 2018.
He said that a fraud man, who was an absconder from European countries and against whom the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had registered a case against, was now issuing a statement against him in the Toshakhana case.
“He (Umar Farooq) is a fraud and a propagandist and there is nothing substantial in his statement,” Imran said, brushing aside the allegations.
“First they tried to drag me on the foreign funding issue. But after its failure, they converted it into a prohibited funding case, and now they are trying to assassinate my character through the Toshakhana case,” Imran said.
The PTI chief announced that he will approach the courts over the latest attempts by the government to discredit him.
Imran then went on the offensive, and in traditional style started pointing fingers outwards to deflect attention.
He said that for years a case has been pending before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who retained a car he had been gifted.
“Unfortunately, no one is pointing that out, nor is NAB probing the case.”
On the purchase of the watch from the Toshakhana and its sale, Imran claimed that he did not understand what the fuss was about given that he had done everything as per the law while all the receipts had been submitted in the Toshakhana which the government can access at any moment.
Army chief appointment
On the all-important appointment of the chief of army staff, the PTI chief said that Zardari and Nawaz do not believe in merit.
He reiterated how Nawaz had allegedly destroyed the Punjab police through the appointment of criminals in the force and claimed that any appointment approved by them could be done with a view to serve only their interests.
“I fear that they are destroying the institution,” he said.
“That is why we just need the appointment to be made on merit,” he said.
Imran Khan further said that the nation knows Zardari and Nawaz, have been dragging the country into a disastrous situation.
“I am not directly saying something to the new army chief, but pointing my finger towards Nawaz and Zardari that the appointment should be in merit,” he clarified.
“I have seen that the government has made a big decision to bring amendments to the Army Act,” he said.
Appeal to chief justice
Imran also appealed to the chief justice of the Supreme Court to take up their applications. He reminded the top court that five days have gone by, but they have yet to get justice in the Arshad Sharif case.
“The court must find out why he had to go outside the country,” he said.
He further said we also demand justice for Senator Azam Swati’s case.
“They tortured Azam Swati on a single tweet and later sent a fake video to his wife,” he said.
“Our last hope is the Supreme court, if they do not do justice, how will a common citizen of Pakistan get justice in the country,” he asked.
He said that this is defining time, and I wish the justice system works.
He said that the country had been founded in the name of Islam, and we cannot attain real freedom until justice prevails.
He also called on the chief justice that now, “the nation is watching you.”
“We just need political stability and justice in the country,” he said.
Demands for early election
The PTI reiterated his demands for early elections.
Nawaz and Zardari, he said, were both scared of the election, and they would not conduct the election, as they have seen the results of the by-elections.
“Nawaz Sharif has settled in the UK, his children have secured British nationality and they are living a luxurious lifestyle, so they are not sincere about the country,” he said.
At the end of his speech, Imran Khan again asks his followers for the preparation to go Rawalpindi.
He said our protest will be peaceful and would not violate the freedom that was given to us by the Pakistan constitution.
“We will do all things under the jurisdiction of the constitution,” he said.