PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday addressed a Pakistan Democratic Movement rally in Mardan, criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan for “admitting” that his team of ministers does not know yet fully how to govern the country.
During her speech, delivered at Khaksar Chowk, she counted all the ways the self-dubbed “ill-prepared” government seemed to have been “fully prepared to send Pakistan on a downward trajectory”.
“The incompetent government that you all had to gather today to protest against was exposed yesterday when Prime Minister Imran Khan admitted to the incompetence on television yesterday,” Maryam said.
“He said loud and clear that I am here to rule but I was not prepared and he said no one should come into the government unprepared,” the PML-N leader said, as she continued to heap scorn on the government.
“When you knew you are unqualified and not suited for premiership, you must tell the people of Mardan why you were in such a hurry to wear a sherwani,” she said, referring to the prime minister’s choice of clothes for his swearing in ceremony.
Maryam then riled up the crowd, cheering them on to take the prime minister’s name loudly.
“Did he not say before the elections he has a fantastic team of 200 people? […] all we see are cabinet members playing musical chairs, swapping ministries all the time,” she remarked.
The government’s ‘ill-preparedness’
In further sarcasm, Maryam said that after two and a half years of the “gift that is Imran Khan”, after “ruining the lives” of 220 million people, today the prime minister told the people of Mardan that “he did not know” of the energy problems in the country, of the circular debts, of the current account deficit, or running the country.
“You were not prepared to run the country but you were fully prepared to rob the people of Rs400bn of sugar,” she added.
She said, similarly, that the government “seemed to have been fully prepared to rob the people of Rs225bn of wheat”.
The PML-N vice president also spoke of the “prepared banditry” of Rs22bn of LNG and a delayed import of the commodity, which raised prices for consumers.
She referred to the PTI’s promise of providing 10 million jobs and said that the government may not have been prepared to make good on the promise “but you were fully prepared to bring your friends from abroad who love to spend on you and to give them jobs”.
Maryam spoke of the tragedy at Khyber Teaching Hospital, where mismanagement of the supply of oxygen led to the deaths of six coronavirus patients. “You were not prepared to deliver good healthcare, but were prepared to jack up medicine prices by 500%,” she said.
“And how many people know that in order to get his brother in law a plot, he dismissed the entire Punjab police administration,” Maryam claimed, adding: “So you were not prepared to bring in police reforms but you were ready to benefit your brother in law by messing up the police cadre.”
She also denounced the “false reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa”.
The PML-N vice president, in further criticism, said that “a poor man’s house and shop is often razed to the ground by the government but the Bani Gala palace was regularised in two days”.
She asked the crowd to join her in chanting: “Where is Saqib Nisar’s Saadiq (Trustworthy) and Ameen (Truthful)?”
‘Will you answer the call to march?’
Before concluding, Maryam made a reference to PM Imran Khan’s remarks, quoting him as saying he will “never bow down before PDM”.
“Well, I say, the one who bows down is the one who is stands,” she said, adding: “Those who are servile, know nothing else but bowing down.”
“Whether or not you know how to run the country, the people of Mardan have decided to send you home,” she declared.
Maryam urged the people of the city to answer the call for a long march to Islamabad to send the government packing.
“Should this government continue sitting in these fake assemblies or should they resign or go home?” she asked.
“We should throw our resignations in their faces,” she added.
The PML-N vice president said that when 400-500 resignations are sent their way, the prime minister “will find it hard to stay in power for even a day longer”.