Imran Khan ‘a ruler, not a leader’: Bilawal

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Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Monday took to Twitter to declare that Prime Minister Imran Khan is ‘a ruler, not a leader’.

“Pitty [sic] even when representing our country abroad, the selected prime minister can’t get off his container,” he said, adding that the country needs a leader who speaks for all Pakistanis, not just himself. “If the government does opposition and the opposition does opposition then who’s left to run the country?” he asked.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan is currently on a three-day visit to the United States where, while addressing overseas Pakistanis on Sunday, he said the opposition leaders facing corruption cases wanted an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance), but he would not rest until his government recovered all the looted national wealth from them.

On Monday, PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal also strongly criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for his policies in general and his speech in Washington in particular. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, flanked by PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Dr Mussadik Malik, the former planning minister said, “Yesterday, our selected prime minister admitted that the opposition leaders were arrested on the government’s behest. It has revealed once again that the so-called accountability is a vengeful agenda of the government.” He also accused the government of ‘using national institutions for political gains’.

Ahsan Iqbal complained that in the past Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf had used the National Accountability Bureau against politicians, and the same organisation was now being used to safeguard the government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. He said the prime minister has been delivering the same speech since 2013. “The selected prime minister is proving that he is unqualified,” he said, and ridiculed the prime minister for “repeating the same speech [without considering] that he is in China or in front of international capitalists.” “Whether he is in Pakistan or Washington, all Imran Khan can think of is Nawaz Sharif,” he said, adding that it would have been good to see if the prime minister had spoken about the country. “But he made a speech that would only have been relevant if it was delivered at Mochi Gate in Lahore,” he added.

The PML-N leader also defended the former PML-N government against allegations of corruption. He said that his party had initialed a large number of development projects. He also dubbed the arrest of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as a vindictive measure.

“It is misleading to say that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested for a [dubious] contract with Qatar. He is not accused of financial corruption but of abusing his authority in the establishment of LNG terminals,” he clarified.