LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said if PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari were innocent, then who the hooligans were. Their alliance, he said, should better be called the ‘Thugs of Pakistan’.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Fawad referred to the Bollywood movie “Thugs of Hindustan” that was released earlier this year. “Just like the movie, their alliance will be a flop too. They are all villains with no hero among them. This is a group of blackmailers,” he continued.
Reports have emerged that Zardari and Nawaz have agreed to meet in January. The leaders from both parties have remained mum on the topic. “Former president and the PPPP President Zardari says he is innocent, so do Nawaz, Shahbaz and Saad Rafiq. If they are all innocent then who has looted the country?” he asked.
He said when Pervez Musharraf stepped down, the country had a debt of Rs6 trillion but when Nawaz left it had increased to Rs30 trillion. He said Khawaja Asif was serving as foreign minister and someone was depositing Rs1.6 million in his accounts in Dubai and he didn’t even know about it.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan is the only hope for the people of Pakistan. We want to improve the system. Pakistan is moving towards progress,” he added. He expressed his resentment over the appointment of Shahbaz Sharif as the Public Accounts Committee chairman. “The man who looted the country has been made the head. The younger brother will audit the accounts of his elder brother. How all this could be fair?”
An accountability court will announce the verdict in Flagship and Al Azizia references against Nawaz Sharif today). Fawad said it took the court 15 months to announce the verdict. “The case is very straightforward. Nawaz and his children have properties worth millions in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. The verdict in the Panama Papers case was announced after three years, raising a big question mark on the country's justice system,” he said.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq Sunday said former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s were thieves and their assets should be seized.
Talking to the reporters here, Haq ruled out mid-term elections saying the PTI government needed the opposition parties’ support for establishment of a new system. He also talked about the PTI’s mass contact campaign and rally.
Haq said the government had realised that solution to the public issues was not possible in the prevailing system therefore to establish a modified system Prime Minister Imran Khan was seeking cooperation of the opposition.
He said the government had constituted 38 committees with the consent of prime minister and the chairmanship of 18 committees had been given to the opposition. He said National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar had also assured the opposition of cooperation in law-making after meeting with other political parties.
“We intend to resolve the military and domestic cases within a year while the government has overcome the economic crisis and the UAE has also agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion,” he added.
Haq was of view that the previous governments of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif had misused their powers and destroyed state institutions like the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
Responding to the PTI leaders’ criticism, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson and former federal minister for information Marriyum Aurangzeb said PML-N President and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was a cancer patient but the NAB officials were using delaying tactics to give his medical reports. In a statement, she said the NAB had been repeatedly informed about seriousness of the matter but recommendations for formation of a nine-member medical board were being delayed.
"Many requests have been made since November 22 for constitution of a medical board but the NAB remains utterly heedless," Marriyum said. “Who are responsible for the two-and-a-half week delay?" she asked.
She said after the NAB’s culpable behaviour was disclosed the application process of opposition leader’s physical tests had been expedited. “On the other hand, for face saving after the release of Mian Javed’s pictures who died yesterday because of cardiac arrest, alacrity is being showed by the NAB officials,” she said.
“Keeping a cancer patient away from treatment should be considered taking his life. Mian Javed’s body is the latest evidence of this fear,” she said. Lambasting Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, she said he could do politics on a dead body, while his statement about the deceased person reflected what she called “a sick mentality and extreme level of senselessness.”
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