PM Shehbaz accuses Imran, the leader of the PTI, of sabotaging democracy.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and said that the ousted premier wants to make his way to power “even if it means undermining” the country’s democratic system.
The PM’s comments come a day after Imran lamented that the coalition government had rejected his offer for talks.
In a tweet today, Shehbaz said that the PTI chief’s “recent diatribe against parliamentary democracy is the latest in a series of attacks that fly in the face of how democracy functions in modern nation-states”.
He added that the deposed premier’s “politics is aimed at making his way to power even if it means undermining foundations this country stands on”.
Earlier, the federal government had told the PTI chief that the threats and dialogue offer could not go hand in hand in response to Imran’s offer of holding talks on the condition of announcing fresh general polls.
On Friday, the PTI chief had softened his stance on possible talks with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders and had appeared to be striking a conciliatory tone as he signalled his openness to “sit and talk and give a date for the general elections”.
However, while making the offer he had also threatened to dissolve the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) assemblies.
The offer for talks to the government had appeared to mark a departure from the hardline stance he had taken during his mammoth November 26 Rawalpindi rally.
However, a day later, while addressing K-P lawmakers through a video link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Saturday, Imran lamented that the coalition government rejected his offer for talks and directed lawmakers to “start preparing for elections”.
Following the ex-PM’s advice to his lawmakers, senior party leader Fawad Chaudhry revealed that the party would first go for polls in Punjab and K-P.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday felicitated the people of Sindh on celebrating their cultural day.
Sindh culture day is being observed in the province and other parts of the country on Sunday.
The day is typically celebrated by rapturous crowds who put on the colours of Sindh’s culture, manifested through the traditional attires, embellishment, and folk music, to celebrate the annual event across the province which is celebrated on the first Sunday of December.
On his Twitter handle, the premier said the civilisation of Sindh province had been adding the beauty of its cultural colours to the regional and human civilisations for centuries.
“Today is the culture day of Bab-e-Islam, Sindh, a day to highlight the beauty of one component of federation,” he added.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also greeted those celebrating the day all over the world including Pakistan.
“The culture of Sindh is a beautiful blend of Indus and Islamic civilisation,” he was quoted by his PPP party as saying.
Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon also wished the people.
Sindh Labour Minister Senator Saeed Ghani also celebrated the day.
Meanwhile, Consul General of the US Consulate General Karachi Nicole Theriot, while felicitating on the Sindhi Culture Day, said that Sindh is a land of rich culture and history.
On the official Twitter account of the US Consulate Karachi, she wrote: “The people of Sindh have created an inclusive and tolerant society. On this Sindh Cultural day being celebrated on December 04, the United States wishes the people of Sindh and Pakistan peace and prosperity.”
Nicole Theriot, with Sindhi Ajrak on her shoulders, also appeared in a video shared on the official Twitter account of the US Consulate in Karachi.
She said in her video message: “Today, we join Pakistanis to celebrate Sindh Cultural Day. We do it with the understanding that many are still recovering from the plight of the devastating floods this year. This day, we commemorate Sindh’s rich history and culture.
“I thank the people of Sindh for your warmth and hospitality as I continue to learn more about Sindhi history, poetry, and culture.
“On behalf of everyone at the US Consulate in Karachi, I wish you a happy Sindh Cultural Day, and remind you that the people and government of the United States stands with the flood-affected people of Sindh and Balochistan in these difficult times.”
The video also featured other officials of the US Consulate in Karachi, cladded in traditional Sindhi attires, and extending felicitation on the Sindhi Cultural Day in Sindhi language.
“Sindh Jo Saqaafati Dihaarho Mubarak Hujy! The US Consulate in Karachi wishes you all a very Happy Sindhi Cultural Day,” Nicole Theriot concluded.