Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday offered the olive branch to his predecessor Imran Khan, saying he was ready to set aside his differences for the sake of Pakistan.
“One hundred steps can be taken forward for Pakistan. All differences can be set aside,” Sharif said while addressing a press conference here. He said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar recently met President Arif Alvi, who belonged to Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, with his permission.
Alvi’s meeting with Dar was dubbed by the media as part of ruling coalition’s efforts to create a communication channel with the former prime minister.
“We will move 100 steps forward for the country’s stability. But it takes two to tango. We have to sacrifice when nations face such a situation [as we are in],” Shahbaz Sharif said.
His offer of talks came after PTI once again threatened to dissolve assemblies of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces if a date for general election was not announced by December 20.
But while offering talks, the premier also blasted Khan by calling him “egocentric” and “fraud”.
“I want to tell the people that this person (Khan) is a fraud having nothing to do with the nation’s future,” Sharif said.
“He [Khan] is a very egocentric person who only cares about his personal interests and he can stoop to any level for his vested interests,” he added.
He also talked about the British publication Daily Mail’s apology, terming it a vindication of the 220 million people of Pakistan “which also thwarted an anti-state conspiracy hatched by Imran Khan and his cronies”.
“Finally, after three years, they (Daily Mail) tendered an apology, not just to me but all of you. It was an apology to 220 million Pakistanis and to millions of those mothers and children who were benefiting from DFID projects to support their food and health,” Sharif said.
He clarified that the DFID project’s amount of 600 million pounds was spent transparently and the allegations were also contradicted by the DFID itself.
The premier also mocked Khan by saying that an article published in the Financial Times newspaper accused him (Khan) of spending donations collected for Shaukat Khanum Hospital on his politics.
He said that Khan committed the “cheapest act” when he sold an especially-designed watch, containing Holy Kaaba’s image, which was gifted to him by the Saudi Crown Prince.
Sharif added that the federal government has inherited a fragile economy and had to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with a request for assistance when the international lender was not ready to trust Pakistan.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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