Now, Pak PM Imran Khan accuses Nawaz Sharif of 'playing India's game'

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Gravitas deskUpdated: Oct 02, 2020, 10:16 PM IST

Former Pakistan prime ministers Imran Khan (left) and Nawaz Sharif Photograph:(PTI)

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The Pakistani prime minister is trying to politicise the cases against former opposition leaders and by portraying them as a India versus Pakistan issue so that he can win the support of the military which plays a crucial role in the country in deciding who stays in power

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused political rival and former premier Nawaz Sharif of getting backing from India.

"Sharif has gone to the United Kingdom and is playing India's game. He is attacking Pakistan sitting over there. He is 100 per cent getting backing from India," Imran Khan said in statement.

The Pakistan prime minister is trying to politicise the cases against the former Opposition leaders and by portraying them as a India versus Pakistan issue so that he can win the support of the military which plays a crucial role in the country in deciding who stays in power.

He has asked authorities to take steps to bring back PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif from London, where he has been staying since November 2019 on medical grounds, and to ensure that the former premier faces the corruption cases pending against him in various Pakistan courts.

A Pakistan anti-corruption court on Thursday ordered seizure of assets of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his failure to appear in the Toshakhana graft case, days after he was declared an absconder in the matter that allegedly caused heavy loss to the national exchequer.

An anti-corruption court on September 9 had indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari and ex-prime minister Yusuf Raza Gillani, while declared Sharif an absconder in the case.

The Islamabad-based accountability court was hearing the case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which submitted a detailed record of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo's movable and immovable properties.

The accountability Judge Asghar Ali ordered the authorities to freeze Sharif's national and international bank accounts and seize his 206 acres of agricultural land in Lahore and 12.75 acres in Sheikhupura, as well as his house in Murree in Punjab province.

Two tractors and cars that the 70-year-old leader allegedly obtained from the Toshakhana (state gift depository) after paying 15 per cent of the price are also included among assets the court has ordered to seize.

The Toshakhana graft case is about alleged relaxation of rules by Gilani, 68, for the benefit of Zardari, 65, and Sharif to buy vehicles gifted by foreign countries.

Sharif is accused of obtaining luxury cars from the treasury house by paying just 15 per cent of the price of these vehicles.

Similarly, Zardari and Gilani, are also accused of receiving luxury vehicles and gifts from the treasure house.

These investigations are a part of PM Imran Khan's anti-corruption drive which is partially targetting Opposition members.

Khan is also censoring the media. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has banned broadcast and rebroadcast of any speech, interview or public address of absconders or proclaimed offenders, it was reported.

The PEMRA order cites a 2019 rule that prevents channels from giving a platform to convicts and absconders. However,  the government was not always this eager to de-platform convicts.

Imran Khan seems rattled by the Opposition's unity and is keen on ensuring that Nawaz Sharif's political comeback does not receive traction within the country.