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New audio leak exposed Imran’s ‘drama’, says PM Shehbaz

PM Shehbaz accuses Imran Khan of giving NRO to his sister Aleema Khan and Farah Gogi during tenure

By Shahid Husain
October 08, 2022
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif talks to journalists. Photo: PTV/YouTube
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif talks to journalists. Photo: PTV/YouTube   

LAHORE: Referring to the latest audio leak in which PTI Chairman Imran Khan was purportedly talking about horse-trading, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that Khan has confessed to his "crime".

Talking to journalists after appearing before the  accountability court in Lahore, PM Shehbaz Sharif  berated the PTI chair and said: “Your drama and lies have been exposed [before the nation].” He lambasted Imran Khan for accusing them of giving an NRO.

The prime minister said that Imran Khan has confessed in the audio that he was involved in horse-trading.

“No one is above the law,” PM Shehbaz said, adding that his family suffered the worst cruelty and have been appearing before the court.

“Did any court summon Imran Khan?” he complained.

Reacting to the allegations levelled by the PTI, the prime minister said that Maryam was acquitted on merit. Neither was Maryam  given NRO, nor did she benefit from amendments in the NAB law, he added.

Aleema Khan, Farah Gogi given NRO

In a tit-for-tat move, he accused Imran Khan of giving an NRO to his sister Aleema Khan and Farah Gogi in his tenure. He also accused the former government of corruption worth hundreds of billion in the BRT project.

PM dubs Imran word’s biggest fraudster 

Terming Imran Khan the world’s biggest fraudster, the prime minister asked why the then NAB chairman did not take notice of £190 million robbery.

He accused the PTI chair of hatching a conspiracy against the nation and asked where did you get the money to buy the conscience of five lawmakers?

“Imran Niazi, now you have to answer to the nation,” the PM added.

‘Case against Shehbaz Sharif similar to Moonis Elahi’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared before an accountability court in a money laundering reference filed against him on Saturday.

Arguing before the court, the PM’s counsel, Advocate Amjad Pervez, said that former Punjab chief minister Hamza Shahbaz has requested for an exemption from appearance today due to medical issues.

During the hearing, Advocate Pervez said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) removed the charge of Rs9 billion money-laundering from the challan. "These five accounts with Rs9 billion have no relation with the Sharif Group," he said.

PM Shehbaz's lawyer said that these accounts are related to Muhammad Mushtaq alias Mushtaq Cheeni, adding that no action has been taken against him.

He added that the FIR does not mention the story of kickbacks and bribery.

Advocate Pervez compared the money laundering case with PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi's case and said that there are a lot of similarities between the two.

"What are the similarities?" questioned the judge.

At this, the lawyer said that this case has allegations of transferring money from the accounts of low-wage employees and in Moonis Elahi's case, low-wage employees were accused of operating the account.

Advocate Pervez said that even if the court accepts the accusations levelled by the prosecution, it cannot prove anything against the petitioners nor can indictment them.

The judge asked if the suspect Malik Maqsood Ahmed aka Maqsood Chaprasi was inquired. To this, the advocate replied that he has passed away and per the records, the FIA did not interrogate him.

What is the money laundering reference?

Shehbaz Sharif, the former chief minister, is accused of accumulating assets worth Rs7,328 million in connivance with his co-accused family members, benamidars, front persons and close associations and for developing an organised system of money laundering.

The anti-graft watchdog has nominated a total of 20 individuals in the reference – Shahbaz’s wife Nusrat, his sons Hamza and Suleman, and daughters Rabia Imran and Javeria Ali.