Deposed Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif has taken a fresh dig at Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying the cricketer-turned politician is called a “puppet” leader in India, as he was installed by the powerful military in 2018. Sharif, who is presently in London getting treatment for a heart condition, attended, via video link, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) general meeting held in Lahore on Thursday. “In India, Imran Khan is called a ‘puppet’ and in the United States it is said that he (Imran) has powers even less than that of a mayor. This is because the world knows how he has been brought to power. Imran has not come into power by the votes of the people but with help of (the) military establishment,” the three-time former premier said.
Sharif, 71, convicted in two corruption cases in Pakistan, has been living in London since November 2019 after the Lahore High Court granted him permission to go abroad for four weeks for medical treatment. Earlier at the party meet, Sharif took swipes at Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for “imposing a puppet government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf:” through a rigged general election in 2018. “This man (Imran Khan) used to say that he would prefer suicide than going to the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Now we are waiting when he commits suicide, Sharif said, recalling Khan’s strident criticism of the former Pakistani government’s borrowing from international institutions.