The PM Imran Khan-led Pakistan government is mulling registering a treason case against a senior Opposition leader for his controversial statement that the country handed over captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India under pressure.
Posters dub the Pakistani leader as ‘traitor’
Amid the backlash Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is facing over his remarks against the Pakistan Army chief, posters featuring Sadiq with PM Narendra Modi and Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman came up in parts of Lahore on Saturday.
The posters, which dubbed him as “traitor”, went viral on social media after first being spotted in the constituency of the former National Assembly speaker. In some of the posters, Sadiq’s face was morphed to resemble IAF’s Wing CommanderVarthaman.
The PML-N has strongly reacted to the move blaming the PTI government for ‘awarding traitor certificates’ to its political opponents. PML-N Punjab information secretary lawmaker Azma Bokhari said the one who put up “traitor” posters of Sadiq must be having a criminal record like in the past cases registered against the PML-N leadership.
‘Legs were shaking & forehead perspiring’
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Wednesday said that General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “legs were shaking and forehead perspiring” at a meeting of Pakistan’s top leaders when Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had pleaded to release Wing Commander Abhinandan, saying if he was not released, India would attack Pakistan.
“Legs were shaking and forehead perspiring, and the foreign minister (Qureshi) told us, ‘For God’s sake, let him (Varthaman) go back now because India is attacking Pakistan at 9 PM in the night’,” Sadiq said, recalling the meeting which was also attended by parliamentary leaders, including those from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-N, and added that “India was not planning to attack…They just wanted to kneel before India and send back Abhinandan.”
Responding to Sadiq’s remarks, Pakistan Interior Minister Ejaz Shah told reporters that the government was pondering over registering a treason case against Sadiq as police have received a number of complaints against him. He said those toeing the line of India should better go to Amritsar.
The 37-year-old Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat after he’d shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16. This was days after the IAF, in the early hours of February 26, 2019, bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan and avenged the Pulwama terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel. He was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.