KARACHI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the nation had voted for Imran Khan to hold all the corrupt and money launderers accountable, but “we failed to do so”.
Addressing what appeared to be a tell-all presser in Karachi, the minister said that Imran Khan wished to catch all those who plundered national wealth through the legal course of action “but the roots of the mafia in this country are so deep that we couldn’t get a hold of them”.
Sheikh Rashid said the opposition should be afraid of the time when people vent out their anger at them. “People are blaming us for the situation [inflation], but it actually happened because of past rulers,” the minister stressed, while admitting “it is our mistake that we couldn’t explain it to the people.” Answering a question related to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, Rasheed said: “Your threats will not affect us in any way; you should look at your own conduct. No one else has been as corrupt as you, so you cannot hold us accountable for anything.”
Rasheed went on to say that both, the Sharif and Zardari families, are “corrupt”, so Prime Minister Imran Khan will continue to fight against their corruption “till his last breath”.
The interior minister was also questioned about the founder of MQM Altaf Hussain, and in response, he said that he has known him since his days as a student.
“We cannot talk to him (Altaf) anymore because he has too many murder cases registered against his name,” the minister said. “On the other hand, we have had a good relationship with MQM-Pakistan and will continue to do so.”
He reiterated that despite the Opposition’s aggressive campaign to oust the PTI-led government, PM Imran Khan will not be going anywhere. He added that the government has good relations with the establishment.
He said the initiatives taken by the government including disbursement of health and ration cards were not ordinary measures, however, “we just could not let people realise the importance of such facilities”.
He also highlighted that he would not shy away from accepting the country was facing a gas crisis at the moment, adding “it is a reality”.
The minister, while turning his guns on former premier Nawaz Sharif, said the convicted PM had left the country after much drama, adding “probably he is healthy as he did not consult any doctor [in London] since the time he made it there”.
Rashid also accused Sharif of attacking the judiciary and giving statements on the army while sitting abroad. But, according to the minister, it didn’t make any difference as “Imran is not going anywhere.”
His remarks come a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed surprise over media reports that self-exiled Sharif was returning home as his (Nawaz’s) conviction could be withdrawn. “How can a convicted person become prime minister of the country for a fourth time?” PM Imran had asked.