September 20, 2020
ISLAMABAD—As expected, journalists took to Twitter to comment on the All Parties Conference of the opposition and the speech by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Talat Hussain saw it as a speech against the military establishment. "Nawaz delivers a devastating charge-sheet against Imran-led system. His real attack was against General Qamar Bajwa-led Establishment, which he believes is the source of the present situation. He has burnt his boats, bridges. Lets see if APC, his party can match his stand."
Hussain is a harsh critic of the PTI government and, in his YouTube channel, targets Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Saleem Saifi however, asked the opposition to walk the talk. In a tweet in Urdu, he said after the speeches by the former prime minister and former President Asif Ali Zardari, it is incumbent upon the PPP to announce the dissolution of the Sindh Assembly and announce resignations en masse from the National Assembly. He suggested that Nawaz Sharif should come back from the UK on the first available flight. Otherwise, he added all speeches would be considered a part of a drama.
Sharif has been declared a proclaimed offender in a graft case.
Matiullah Jan thought the former premier declared "war on dictators and their legacy/remnants."
Ather Kazmi called out the former prime minister for his dual policy, saying that though he presents himself as a resistance leader and a champion of democracy, he is ever ready for wheeling and dealing with the powers that be. He added that some journalists are welcoming the speech like lackeys in a Mughal court.
Columnist Ammar Ali Qureshi thought the APC was nothing more than a storm in a teacup. "After collaboration on FATF, some concession had to be given-: a dinner in Pindi attended by leading opposition leaders. This APC, its screening, are all part of script. APC will be sound and fury signifying nothing. I do not see sustained & serious agitation #APC2020."
On the other hand, Abasar Alam, facing a treason case, continued to question Lt. Gen. (Retd) Asim Bajwa, who heads CPEC Authority. He asked the prime minister's advisor on information and broadcasting to provide the money trail for the general and his family's businesses in and outside Pakistan.
Dawn columnist Zahid Hussain said Nawaz Sharif has directly targeted the alleged backers of the prime minister. "A very hard hitting speech by Nawaz Sharif. The gloves are off. Target is not IK but his "backers."
Another Dawn staffer, Hasan Zaidi, made fun of the fact that when Nawaz Sharif talked about Lt. Gen (Retd) Asim Bajwa, voices of many channels were muted. "The moment Nawaz Sharif says "Lt General..." his audio is muted by numerous channels. Hahaha. #FreerThanBritain."
Hamid Mir, in a tweet in Urdu, maintained the hard-hitting speech by Nawaz Sharif had dominated the APC, suggesting everything else has become irrelevant.
Tariq Butt agreed with him. "Whatever the result of the APC, Nawaz Sharif's speech was too dominating."
Nasim Zehra also hinted at the fact that Nawaz Sharif's speech targeted the military establishment. "Our target is not with ImranKhan, I have said that before. Instead our battle is with those who brought Imran Khan to power.... MNS #APC2020.”
Murtaza Solangi patted the former prime minister on the back. "Today @NawazSharifMNS successfully highlighted the principle contradictions of Pakistani state and the society. Ten out of ten marks."
Kamran Yousaf termed the speech a historic occasion. "You may be supporter or hater of #NawazSharif, his today's speech will go down in history as one of the candid and bold postmortem of Pakistan's chronic problems."
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