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June 14, 2019

Govt to name chairman of PM’s probe body within week

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June 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan has said the government will “within a week” name the chairman of high-powered inquiry commission recently announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan to investigate how Pakistan’s debts swelled over the past 10 years.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Firdous said the commission’s terms of reference are being finalised. She added opposition parties and a section of the media were giving the impression that the Prime Minister himself would head the commission “which is incorrect”.

Reacting to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz’s speech in Zafarwal a day earlier, the SAPM said the former rulers were “symbols of arrogance”. She said they had still not “learnt any lessons from their present situation after getting caught red-handed in corruption cases”.

Awan claimed the Sharif family misused official resources for the promotion of their personal business during their rule. “It is ironic that the sons — for whom Nawaz Sharif plundered national wealth and purchased properties abroad — today proudly state they are not Pakistani nationals and did not bother to come to inquire after his health in prison,” she added.

Warning Maryam to stop criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan, she said: “It is strange that plunderers are targeting the Prime Minister. All will have to be answerable to the law and the Constitution for their misdeeds.”

She added time has proved all corrupt elements are united on one front which has vindicated Imran Khan’s stance thatthey have the same interests. “The steps taken by the Prime Minister will rid the political arena of corrupt elements.”

Awan acknowledged some “harsh steps” had to be taken in the budget to stabilise the national economy. She said Prime Minister Khan had set priorities for the next fiscal year’s budget with the “aspirations of the people” in mind.

The agriculture sector was the economy’s backbone but the previous government ruined that vital sector by imposing heavy cuts in its allocations, she added. Awan said special incentives would be given to farmers to convert their tube wells to run on solar energy and there was a proposal to totally abolish taxes on the import of solar panels.

She said agricultural tube wells electricity bills up to Rs 10,000 would be paid by farmers while bills between Rs10,000 and Rs 75,000 would be shared by the federal and provincial governments, which would prove helpful in the revival of the ailing sector.

She said all stakeholders were taken on board in the preparation of budgetary policies and farmers were also consulted to provide relief to them. She said the coming budget reflected the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and would prove helpful in revival of economy.

Earlier, Awan tweeted that the references against judges are a constitutional matter and it should not be given any political colour by Maryam. In a tweet on Thursday, she said the best way of expressing solidarity with the judiciary is to respect its verdicts. Awan said Maryam Safdar should give proof of respecting the judiciary and rule of law and Constitution by presenting his absconder brothers and former finance minister Ishaq Dar before the courts.

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