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Agencies
May 28, 2020

Sugar inquiry report made public to save PM: PML-N

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A
Agencies
May 28, 2020

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Wednesday, in reaction to the briefing by the prime minister's aide on accountability, said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government allowed the export of sugar at a time when there was a shortage of sugar in the country.

Addressing the press conference here, PML-N lawmaker Marriyum Aurangzeb said that with the given subsidy, the price of sugar spiked up from Rs80 to Rs90 per kg in the country.

She lashed out at the incumbent government for conducting a "dubious and inept" inquiry into the sugar scandal, maintaining the party's prior stance that the probe is incomplete until and unless Prime Minister Imran Khan appears before the commission and provides an explanation "for the hidden facts". "Imran Khan is the real culprit in the matter, hence, he should resign from his seat," Aurangzeb said, adding that the premier was "deliberately not made part of the commission and inquiry as part of a scheme to throw dust in the eyes of people".

"The report by the inquiry commission was made public because Imran Khan has to be saved," she emphasised.

Referring to the PML-N tenure, Aurangzeb claimed that the party had not allowed sugar prices to rise for five consecutive years, asserting, "If anyone can put Pakistan on the path of development, it is only PML-N". Criticising the incumbent government for carrying out an "incomplete investigation" into the scandal, she said that the exporters made money in two ways "on the orders of the prime minister" and looted the people.

"On the one hand, exporters took advantage of the increase in dollar rate and on the other, they took advantage of the increase in sugar price in the country," she said.

"After the report was out, we hoped that Shahzad Akbar would give us the news for Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar's resignation but the real culprits in the case escaped from the backdoor," she added. Reiterating that the incumbent prime minister should appear before the commission, the PML-N spokesperson said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also appeared before Joint Investigation Team (JIT) during his time as the prime minister.

"The government does not want to deal with either the coronavirus or the sinking economy of the country," Aurangzeb said, adding that it "just wants to put PML-N leaders behind the bars without legitimate reasons".

The PML-N spokesperson went on to raise questions about the commission's process of inquiry. She asked, "Why did the commission not call Khusro Bakhtyar and his brother in the mill case?" Calling for dispensation of justice and adequate inquiry into the sugar case, Aurangzeb said that the decision makers are "intimidated by National Accountability Bureau (NAB)".

Meanwhile, PML-N leader Rana Mashood said that even Supreme Court raised questions on the inquiry process employed by the asset inquiry unit, which was headed by Shahzad Akbar.

Saying that the present government has done nothing to uplift the country's sinking economy, Mashood demanded that those who have harmed the national exchequer by giving subsidies without inquiry should be handcuffed immediately.

"Imran Khan has not yet been summoned for approving the subsidy," he said, adding, that the working of the sugar commission is dubious, and "mud-slinging at the expense of the Sharif family was done deliberately" to divert attention from the real issues being faced by Pakistan.