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PML-N leader Chaudhry blames Khan for spreading hatred

The recent wave of political intolerance in Pakistan has seeped into all segments of the public, often taking a violent form. On one hand, the public appears to have developed blind faith in their leaders. On the other side, political leaders are peddling negative narratives to their followers as people tend to be more attracted to such sentiments.

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Recently, PML-N leader Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry blamed Imran Khan for spreading hatred in the society with attacks on Pakistani institutions.

He lamented that we parliamentarians could not go and sit in any open market in Islamabad, and when we sit, we have four armed guards with us. Have we committed any crime?

Chaudhry said Imran Khan spreads dissension through his jalsas, and then his party leaders appear on talk shows to ‘control the damage’ he has done. With his ‘Amar Bil Maroof’ or ‘Standing with Righteousness’ movement, the PML-N leader said Imran Khan has turned into a pious figure fighting evil, which has divided the already polarized society into two segments.

The parliamentarian said the US has repeatedly urged Pakistan to do more regarding ending terrorism post the 9/11 attacks in the past, which was also a threat. He said, Washington also told Islamabad that it was not satisfied with its security measures toward Afghanistan. Moreover, Pakistan has been kept on the FATF grey list.

The party leader said the US was also against Pakistan’s nuclear program, but Nawaz Sharif’s government publically tested the bomb in 1998. He said the US threatened Pakistan with sanctions, but Pakistan continued with the tests and bore the sanctions.

He said the government should give a befitting to the US if it has threatened Pakistan instead of dividing the public on this matter. He said PML-N would respond if there were any foreign threats.

Read more: Hate speech and it’s impact on Pakistan’s democratic path

He said Imran Khan is playing the character of Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq that he accuses others of. He said if a party has to use a religion card and conspiracy card, it is politically and morally bankrupt.

Chaudhry also slammed Imran Khan for stating that he had been aware of the then opposition’s plans to overthrow him since July of last year and subsequent plan to use the ISI chief to counter the move.

During his jalsa in Mianwali on May 6, Khan said that he also wanted the ISI chief to continue serving during the difficult winter season when the fallout of the Afghan infighting was imminent. He said that the public should question institutions for imposing corrupt leaders on them.

However, Khan denied the speculations that he wanted the former ISI chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, to be the next army chief, saying that he never wanted to control the army as he had a “clean record” and “did not fear anyone.”

Read more: Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed assumes charge as new DG ISI today

Last year, reports had surfaced of an alleged standoff between the military and the PTI-led government when the army had announced on October 6 that Lt Gen Faiz had been appointed the Peshawar corps commander, while Lt Gen Anjum was appointed in his place.

But the Prime Minister’s Office did not issue the notification of his appointment until October 26, which led to the speculations.

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