Islamabad, 15th April 2022: Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman addressed the media, “PTI has put their own agenda before the safety and security of Pakistan, and put our foreign policy at risk. When you take an oath to the country, you promise to put it before your own interest; Khan is making Pakistan pay the price for his disregard for the sanctity of the oath. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship; you cannot label those who oppose you as traitors. ”
She said, “PTI has tried to divide the country for their own personal gains by feeding this conspiracy narrative to the nation. PPP welcomes the statement made by DG ISPR’s presser, wherein he unmasked numerous lies. PTI has been claiming that the former Opposition colluded with a western power to bring about the end of PTI’s government through the telegram that Khan dressed up as a conspiracy. However, now it has been clarified there never was any conspiracy despite what Khan and his government have been trying to claim. We have been insistent on a vote of no confidence from the start. Chairman Bilawal in the PDM meeting in September 2021 stated that we would move for a vote of no confidence.”
She stated, “America has reiterated for the third time now that they have no involvement in the internal affairs of any country, they focus on maintaining relations with nations, not political parties. Pakistan navigates its own independent path in the international community; PPP has done it many times before. When the Salala incident occurred, we suspended NATO supply lines for 7 months until the then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued an apology to Pakistan. We had closed the Shamsi Air Base, all the while staying neutral in the Syria vote despite pressure, and suspended Nato supply lines, without losing any capital and maintaining stable ties with the US. PTI has tried to back us into a corner. This is not the mindset of a patriotic and democratic government. Khan made a scandal out of ‘Absolutely not’, which was a baseless outcry when in reality no bases were asked from his government. Khan’s constant attempts of pitting the masses against each other by speaking of how it is us or them is greatly flawed. The government needs to work in cohesion with others. In a democracy, we are all working together for the greater good. Governments and diplomats by the very nature of their statecraft need to engage in positive and proactive work to encourage trade and investment opportunities not to constantly be on the defensive. Khan during his regime single-handedly managed to alienate friends and foes alike. In his three and a half years in power, he did not seem to learn that when a country has diplomatic relations with another country, you cannot bring your own politics into it, only prioritise the nation’s interests. Khan’s need to mobilise the masses by fabricating a conspiracy from a routine diplomatic cable is extremely regrettable, to put it mildly.”
When speaking on the unpatriotic acts of Khan’s supporters she said, “Khan has not condemned the youth from burning Pakistani flags and tearing up passports. Has the PTI leadership said anything against this heinous act, which undermines the whole identity of our nation? Khan is under the misconceived notion that he is Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto; Bhutto selflessly gave his life for the nation. He was the man who decided to keep the secrets of the state even when they cost him his life, not wave them at a rally to cling to his seat. Khan and his leadership’s modus operandi is one where the highest priority is given to them. Is Khan saying he believes Pakistan cannot survive if he is not in power? Is his, and his leadership’s ego really that inflated that it seems they believe Pakistan is dependent on them and it is them who are above the nation?
Khan’s job was to save Pakistan, not just the PTI. Khan spoke of Pakistan’s nuclear assets at a rally questioning the safety and integrity of our assets, when he should have been seen protecting them rather than implying Pakistan was a rogue state. The international community has no worries about Pakistan’s handling of its nuclear protocols.”
She further added, “We have repeatedly stated that if there really was a conspiracy, which Khan had gone through the proper means to prove, we would have stood with him. Instead, when he realised there was no way to save himself from being constitutionally and democratically removed, he waved it at a jalsa and concocted a conspiracy against Pakistan. When the state institutions and the judiciary themselves took action, and the verdict was against him, he decided to label them as traitors as well. He is undermining the sanctity of our institutions. Who is he to hand out traitor certificates? It is apparent that there is nothing left which he won’t bring down to save himself.”
She concluded by saying, “Peacefully protesting is the right of every citizen, but Khan is damaging the democratic sanctity of Pakistan. PTI is simply upset due to the true neutrality of the state institutions and the establishment. The coalition government simply wants to end the PTI’s era of hatred and chaos.”