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May 19, 2016

$60m in Swiss banks, NICL and other plunderers must also be held accountable, says Shahbaz

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May 19, 2016

‘Nation wants final decision on corruption’: declares opposition no more united

LAHORE: Addressing the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday in a surprise appearance, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that those who were criticising the government without due cause wanted to impede people’s progress and prosperity. He claimed that such elements were not at all concerned with the development and prosperity of the common man. However, he expressed his willingness to go to the end for the welfare of the public and ensure that development projects continued unhindered.

Shahbaz Sharif said that he was serving the people of Pakistan with honesty and integrity. “Certain elements are trying to stop us on our road to development and for this, they are indulging in negative politics,” he claimed.

Shahbaz Sharif said it was time for accountability and the nation was united against the scourge of corruption, stressing that blunders of the past will be rectified now. He said it was time for accountability so that no one dared to indulge in corruption in future. He said the 60 million dollars in the Swiss banks case, the NICL issue and other big corrupt plunderers should also be held accountable.

Shahbaz Sharif praised the Metro train system and said that it was a great and unique plan to provide benefit to the common man. He said that China had issued funds amounting to Rs33 billion which, despite the opponents’ propaganda, was a huge victory.

It is pertinent to note here that both the chief minister and his brother Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have come under pressure due to the recent PanamaLeaks controversy with offshore companies being traced under the names of Nawaz Sharif’s children — Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz. Calls to prime minister to step down by the opposition parties have intensified in recent weeks after he was repeatedly accused of money laundering and tax evasion.

On Wednesday in the House, the chief minister said that the terms of reference (ToRs) prepared by the opposition over the Panama Leaks only targeted one person, not corruption. Shahbaz Sharif said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had presented himself for accountability and announced the formation of a judicial commission to probe the Panama Leaks despite the fact that his name was not in the database.

Th CM said that the premier assured to hold consultation with the opposition but the parties made ToRs according to their own interests as there was no section against those who got their loans written off. He said the joint opposition was no more united.

Talking about the Sharif family’s assets, he said that his father, along with his brothers, moved to Lahore from India in the 1930s and established the Ittefaq Foundry in 1938.

“In 1972, my family was not included in the list of 22 richest families,” Shahbaz Sharif added. He said that the nation only wanted the final decision on corruption, fake degrees and illegal land mafia, which were obstructing the country’s prosperity. He also demanded an investigation against the corrupt leaders and said that the nation would grab the collars of those trying to hinder the country’s development. He said that several political leaders had denounced the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) worth 46 billion dollars by terming it as ‘fake’ and a ‘lie’.

However, more than 34 billion dollars are reserved for electricity projects only, he said. Shahbaz said the maximum number of solar energy projects had been started in Bahawalpur under the umbrella of CPEC and hoped that loadshedding would end by 2018.

Soon after the chief minister’s speech ended, the Leader of Opposition, PTI MPA Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, rose to make his speech. But the chief minister left the House. On this, the opposition members rose from their chairs and chanted ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogans. Rasheed, however, continued with his speech stating that the claims made by the chief minister regarding public welfare were baseless. He alleged that the government was running away from justice in the Panama Leaks inquiry. Quorum was pointed out soon after Rasheed’s speech, with the House failing to have the required number of members needed for a session.

Meanwhile, the House also passed the Punjab Agriculture, Food and Drugs Authority Bill 2016, with all six amendments proposed by the opposition being denied. The Punjab Civilian Victims of Terrorism (Relief and Rehabilitation) Ordinance 2016 laid by the provincial government after the APS tragedy in Peshawar was also extended for a period of 90 days with immediate effect. The session will resume today.


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