Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the policies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former premier Imran Khan based on 'lies and cheat' have left the country’s economy in ruins.
In an interview with the British publication The Guardian, the premier spoke of the “damage” that Khan, the former prime minister who ruled Pakistan from 2018, had done to the country in both domestic and foreign affairs.
He accused Imran of conducting the country’s affairs to suit his own personal agenda “in a manner which can be only described as the most inexperienced, self-centred, egotistical, immature politician in the history of this country”.
The audio leaks allegedly captured Khan discussing how to fabricate a conspiracy about a foreign threat, with him heard saying they would “play with the cable”.
PM Shehbaz said the leaked audios were "an irrefutable endorsement that he (Imran) is the biggest liar on the face of the earth. I’m not saying this with a sense of glee but a sense of embarrassment and concern. My country’s image has been damaged hugely by these lies told out of mean personal interest."
"Never before was I concerned about our country's future," said Sharif. "Imran Khan has injected an infinite amount of poison in this society and made it hugely polarised as never before … he is distorting facts and creating hate."
The prime minister deliberated upon his efforts to rebuild relations with several of Pakistan’s foreign allies, which were seen to nosedive after 2018.
PM Shehbaz told the publication that he had been "shocked" at the UN general assembly in New York earlier this month when several world leaders, who he refused to name, had personally raised Khan’s conduct.
"Some leaders told me in person about his personality,” said Sharif. “They told me he was rude, he told lies and he is a ‘narcissist’, quote unquote.”
"Imran has damaged Pakistan’s relations with the United States for no rhyme or reason,” he said.
PM Shehbaz also made it clear that he would be reaffirming Pakistan’s close relationship with China, which reportedly suffered under Khan after he stalled the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He vowed to continue with the project, describing China as “one of the most trusted friends of Pakistan”.
“Make no mistake, CPEC is a project which is not only good for Pakistan’s wellbeing but for the whole region,” he said.
On the involvement of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif in his government, he said: “Of course, I consult Nawaz, he is my leader and my older brother,” he said. “But he has given me completely free rein to make decisions.”
Sharif vehemently rebuffed the criticism of Imran Khan against the politics of Maryam Nawaz as ‘dynastic’.
“It’s about competence: it’s about public support, it’s about people’s trust,” he said. “It’s not about dynasty.”