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December 7, 2018

Nation wants Nawaz, Zardari to be held accountable: Fawad

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December 7, 2018

LONDON: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday said the rise in the price of dollar does not make a difference. Speaking to the media in London, the information minister said, "It does not matter if the dollar price increases. The nation wants those who ate golden eggs to be held accountable."

Stating that former president Asif Ali Zardari and ex-premier Nawaz Sharif "ate golden eggs", the information minister questioned, "With what face are they lecturing us about the economy?"

“Nawaz and Zardari have fought their last election and their status is now similar to that of Yahya and Ayub Khan after removal from power,” he further said. He continued, “An ordinance needs to be brought against them (Nawaz and Zardari) and their close friends so they account for the billions of rupees (they accumulated) or all their money will be taken away. This way we will not even have to take loans.”

Fawad further said, “Our (PTI) greatest challenge is the promises that we made to the nation." Meanwhile, Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday called for collaboration between Pakistan and the United Kingdom to curb money laundering.

Pakistan and the United Kingdom enjoyed good relations and strengthening of anti-money laundering laws would benefit the two friendly countries, the minister said this during a meeting with the British members of parliament here at the Westminster Palace.

He briefed the British parliamentarians about the steps taken by the PTI and its reforms agenda under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan for strengthening economy, promoting rule of law and good governance, besides the policies directed towards the people, especially the poor for bringing them out of poverty. He also highlighted Pakistan's relations with the United States, neighbours, including China, India, Afghanistan and Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The minister requested the British parliamentarians to play their vital role in strengthening the anti-money laundering laws so that the public money from Pakistan should not be invested in the UK through money laundering.

Out of 26 countries, he said, share of money laundering from Pakistan to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the maximum.Therefore, anti-money laundering laws in the UK should be strengthened for the benefit of the two countries, he added. "We are taking our own anti-money laundering laws in Pakistan," he stated.

Fawad Chaudhry said the government was also encouraging investors to invest in various economic sectors. To facilitate the investors, a separate unit had been established at the Prime Minister's Office.

Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan wanted a peaceful solution of the Kashmir problem with India and soon after coming into power, Prime Minister Imran Khan extended a dialogue offer to India to resolve the dispute peacefully. He, however, regretted that India had always rejected peace offers by Pakistan for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute.

He said the present government was bringing about a paradigm shift where the powerful people and political vigilantes like Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan were being brought under the law. "It is first time in Pakistan’s history that powerful classes are feeling the pressure of law. Because of the very close understanding of Pakistan’s civil and military institutions, the 70 years old paradigm has shifted."

He said the opening of Kartarpur Corridor was history in the making. "We will wait for outcome of Indian elections and we want India to rethink its position on Kashmir. Kashmiris don’t want to live with India. Kashmir is not a territorial issue but humanitarian issue."

About the United States, he said it was a superpower and "we are fully aware of its importance." Prime Minister Imran offered the best bet to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. Since the new government had taken over, relations between Pakistan and the US were improving.

President Trump’s letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with the prime minister were evidence of improving ties, he added.

He said CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) remained the most important geo-economic project for Pakistan. Other countries, including the European Union states, might like to benefit from the economic opportunities offered by CPEC.

Replying to a question, he said dual nationals were not allowed to contest elections in the country. The PTI government, however, was keen to resolve the problems being faced by the overseas Pakistanis, including those of British Pakistanis. He invited investors from the UK to invest in various sectors of Pakistan's economy, especially the projects under CPEC.

The British parliamentarians, including Lord Qurban Hussain, lauded the policies of PTI government for the country's development. They also lauded Pakistan for opening up the Kartarpur Corridor for the Sikh Yatrees. They appreciated the PTI government for their decision to build dams to overcome the future water crisis in the country.

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