Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has said that his predecessor, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, had been proven to be a “certified liar and a thief”. However, he cautioned that this was not a moment of happiness, but one of “reflection”.

The Premier’s comments came after Khan’s disqualification in the Toshakhana reference for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

Addressing a news conference in Lahore alongside Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and adviser Attaullah Tarar, Shehbaz Sharif said that Friday was a “lucky day”, as the country received “great successes”.

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“This is not my success but Pakistan’s collective success,” he reiterated, thanking and congratulating those who worked day and night to achieve this result, as Pakistan exited from the Financial Action Task Force’s so-called grey list.

He also specifically congratulated Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, and the officials of the Foreign Office who worked tirelessly to achieve their goal.

“Imran Khan has been proven to be a certified liar. He has been disqualified due to corruption,” PM Shehbaz said, advising the PTI chairman that ongoing issues cannot be resolved through jalsas and rallies.

“Imran Khan was made the prime minister through rigging. His conversation about the judiciary is in front of everyone,” the premier remarked.

He alleged that Imran came into power after the “worst rigging”, adding that the PTI chief auctioned off state gifts after claiming the proceeds would go to the treasury.

“The nation would have saluted you if you had deposited money from selling state gifts in the treasury. I, too, would have despite being your political opponent,” he said, adding that Imran had disrespected Pakistan.

Comparing himself to Imran, PM Shehbaz said that he had once received a letter from the Cabinet Division about being able to buy a state gift after paying a certain amount.

“I answered back to the letter saying, ‘No, thank you and deposited [the gift] in the Toshakhana.”

He said state gifts were now being displayed at the Prime Minister’s House to dispel the impression that they go missing. “Now, I have them [displayed] in PM House so the people know who sold the gifts and pocketed the money.”

“We were mocked saying we were seeking a NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) […] but we bore it and did not compromise on Pakistan’s interest.”

“Imran Khan should fear God; this should be a lesson for him to [remember],” PM Shehbaz said.