ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, for the second consecutive day, opposed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s plan to go to Lahore via GT Road, arguing his journey was aimed at undermining the judiciary and the army at the cost of taxpayers’ money.

Apparently, perturbed over the former prime minister’s plan to start his travel to Lahore from Wednesday, the PTI chief expressed his concern over the arrangements being made for the trip.

Addressing a press conference, he said, “Arrangements for the visit were being made with the taxpayers’ money only to decline the Supreme Court’s decision that disqualified the former prime minister.”

Earlier, Khan chaired a meeting of the parliamentary party at Bani Gala. He alleged district coordination officers of respective districts had been asked to make arrangements for political gatherings in which Nawaz Sharif would say he was innocent.

Khan also alleged Nawaz Sharif’s only purpose during the travel was to malign the two institutions of the country, the army and the judiciary, as both had survived destruction unlike the bureaucracy, the NAB and the SECP.

“Nawaz Sharif will attack both by saying the decision was not just and point fingers at the army,” the PTI chairman averred. Khan stated the trip was an effort by the elder Sharif to pressurise the NAB and the Supreme Court at a time when cases against him and his other family members were going to be initiated by it. “By pressurising these two institutions, Nawaz Sharif wants to avail himself of another NRO deal just like that he had struck with former ruler General Pervez Musharraf before leaving the country,” he said. “They are ruining both democracy as well as morality,” Khan said.

The PTI chairman alleged the ousted PM was giving an impression that he was not given a chance to prove himself innocent despite the fact that he got many such opportunities before the parliament, the JIT and the court. “Now he is terming the court verdict a conspiracy against him and giving an impression that a conspiracy was hatched against the nation and Pakistan,” Khan said.

The PTI chairman asserted the Sharifs were only required to prove from where the money had come to buy the London flats and how the money had been transferred out of the country, but they could not do so. “Now the former PM who has been declared a culprit by the highest court is saying he is not ready to accept the court decision,” Khan maintaind.

The PTI chief went on to say if Nawaz Sharif was not ready to accept the SC verdict, why the poor people languishing in jails would accept decisions about their convictions.  Khan reminded the PML-N had been accusing the PTI of getting signals from certain quarters to derail democracy whenever it came on roads, at least thrice, demanding probe into alleged rigging in the last general elections. “Now I ask Nawaz Sharif from where he got the signal to derail democracy,” he said, questioning if it was from some foreign well-wishers of Sharif.

Khan urged NAB to file an appeal before the court for reopening Hudaibiya Papers Mills case at the earliest. “They are trying to befool the people by saying Nawaz was merely convicted for having “Iqama”. “This Iqama was used for a massive money laundering and not for getting the visa,” Khan said.

“Interestingly, the foreign minister and the interior minister of the country also hold “Iqamas” of UAE,” the PTI chairman affirmed, saying Ishaq Dar had been made finance minister even though the NAB was going to open cases against him.

Khan said his party had summoned the central executive committee’s meeting tomorrow to discuss Nawaz Sharif’s political strategy after the Panama verdict. “The ruling party is distributing Rs 200 billion through its new ministers to enable them to win the next elections, but their defeat is written on the wall,” the PTI chairman maintained.

He also appealed to PML-N to distance itself from the attempts to make Panama verdict controversial as it was against the Sharif family and not against the party.

Responding to queries, the PTI chairman questioned the partiality of the parliamentary committee formed by the National Assembly speaker to probe allegations of harassment levelled against him by disgruntled PTI MNA Ayesha Gulalai. He said he wanted a probe into the allegations but not the way the government was going to conduct it. He said the case should be sent before a parliamentary commission on the pattern of the UK parliament. Khan said it was the duty of the complainant to prove allegations and present the objectionable messages before the probe team.

He also called for providing justice to Ayesha Ahad Malik, the alleged wife of Hamza Shehbaz.

The PTI chairman said the arrival of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri in the country was a good sign. “We stand by PAT on the issue of the Model Town incident and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi would visit Qadri to show our support,” he said.

He also said PTI did not have confidence in the NAB chairman but trusted the accountability courts because the Supreme Court was monitoring the case being initiated against the Sharif family.