Islamabad: Even as the Pakistan government conspires to end the autonomous status of Gilgit-Baltistan and turn it into the fifth province of the impoverished country, rumblings have started brewing against the controversial move.
The return of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan has turned up the heat in the country’s domestic politics with several opposition leaders speaking out against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The situation has scared Imran Khan and his masters in the Pakistan Army that they have started to take action against political leaders who are against the country’s political and military establishment.
Farooq Haider Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), has been booked in Lahore for “conspiring” against Pakistan by listening to his party leader Nawaz Sharif’s recent online speech, in which he criticised the Pakistan Army.
Sources in Islamabad told that a case was registered on Monday against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Farooq Haider Khan and other party leaders at the Shahdara police station in Lahore for “conspiring” against Pakistan and the army.
The FIR was registered under sections of the Pakistan Penal Code related to cyberterrorism, criminal conspiracy to wage war against Pakistan, condemnation of the creation of Pakistan, advocacy of the abolishment of its sovereignty, sedition and promotion of enmity between different groups.
The others who have been booked for participating in the PML-N’s central executive committee and central working committee meetings last week include Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah, Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pervez Rashid, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Ataullah Tarar.
According to the Dawn, the FIR stated, “Instead of availing medical treatment in London, Nawaz is carrying out a planned conspiracy to defame the country and its institutions by making inflammatory speeches.”
It alleges that in the speeches made on September 20 and October 1, the former premier supported the policies of neighbouring India so that Pakistan would continue to remain on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) ‘grey list’, the newspaper said.
“The main purpose of Nawaz’s speeches is to isolate Pakistan in front of the international community and to declare it a rogue state,” the FIR said, adding that Nawaz Sharif was doing this to help his “friend” and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had said last week that Nawaz Sharif was playing a “dangerous game” by levelling allegations of political interference against the Pakistan Army. He also claimed that India was helping the PML-N leader.
In a significant multiparty virtual conference held in Islamabad on September 20, Nawaz Sharif, speaking from London, had hit out at the army, accusing it of installing Imran Khan’s incompetent government, wrecking Pakistan’s economy and foreign relations, censoring the media and indulging in massive corruption.
He had said that it is very important that Pakistan’s armed forces stay away from the governmental system according to the country’s Constitution and founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision, and not interfere with the people’s choice.
“We have made this country a joke in our own eyes and internationally as well,” Sharif had said.
The former Prime Minister, who was deposed and jailed in a corruption case in Pakistan, has been in the UK for medical treatment since November last year.
The conference was attended by Pakistan’s main opposition parties, including the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
A religious hardliner, Rehman had held the opposition parties responsible for allowing the Imran Khan government to survive and urged them to “take concrete decisions”.