Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former prime minister and a senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has said security agencies take their orders from the prime minister, implying the involvement of the highest office in the incident of Captain (retired) Safdar, Maryam Nawaz’s husband.
Speaking to media in Islamabad, Abbasi observed the institutions such as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Rangers take their orders directly from the premier, saying the ultimate responsibility of the whole incident falls on Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Both the institutions, the ISI and Rangers, directly report to the premier. Someone gave them instructions and that person can only be the prime minister. No one else can do that. The officials of these institutions take their orders from the country’s premier,” he said.
Moreover, he blamed the premier for violating the law of the land. “This is the reality behind this incident [and] this is the reality that the country’s premier gave the order to violate the sanctity of the chaddor and char dewari,” Abbasi said, adding that giving such an order was unlawful.
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“These matters are very serious. The Constitution was violated, the authority of the province was challenged and the province’s top officer was kidnapped. These are not small matters [and] all things go back to the premier’s office,” he added.
Opposition is adopting a new narrative?
The statement appears to be in direct contradiction as to what the former PM Nawaz and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto has been claiming in the past. Pakistan Military, ISI Installed ‘Puppet Govt’ of Imran Khan, Nawaz recently said. Nawaz Sharif was addressing the first power show of the alliance of opposition parties – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – in Gujranwala on 16 October via video link from London.
Similarly, delivering a fiery speech at a ceremony organized in Lahore in connection with Youm-e-Takbir to commemorate Chagai-I nuclear test on May 28, 1998, Maryam said that no prime minister of the world was ready to give respect to the incumbent Pakistani premier because they all knew that Imran Khan came into power through stealing the votes of the people.
PPP chairman has also been terming the premier ‘a puppet’ of the establishment.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 21, 2019
Who can dare ask me for my resignation?
In a recent TV interview, journalist Nadeem Malik asked PM Khan that Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister, has said that he was directed by then Director General ISI to step down when PTI was protesting against his government; what would have you done, PM? PM Imran Khan said, “I am an elected prime minister. Who has the courage to ask me to resign? If the DG ISI had asked for my resignation, I would have asked him to resign. It is a government institution, we will use the institution to run the government.
— Nadeem Malik (@nadeemmalik) October 2, 2020
While reacting to Nawaz Sharif’s statement that General Zahirul Islam asked him to resign. “You were the Prime Minister, if you had courage you should have dismissed him,” he told Nawaz.
Notably, Nawaz Sharif claimed that former ISI chief Lieutenant General (retired) Zaheer-ul-Islam had asked him to resign “in the middle of the night” during the 2014 anti-government sit-ins.
“I received a message in the middle of the night,” Sharif told PML-N members in the party’s central executive committee meeting. “It was said that ‘if you don’t do that you will have to face the consequences and martial law can also be imposed’. “I said… do whatever you want but I won’t resign,” Sharif added.
In 2014, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek had staged a 126-day sit-in in Islamabad against alleged rigging of the 2013 elections.
Lt Gen (retired) Islam had served as the ISI chief from March 19, 2012 to November 7, 2014.
This is the first time that Sharif has publicly commented on Islam’s reported plot to overthrow his government.