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July 31, 2020

PPP does not need NRO: Bilawal

Top Story

July 31, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Thursday claimed Prime Minister Imran Khan had given NRO to himself, his sister, and friends but his party did not need it.

Addressing a press conference at the Zardari House here, he said, “Imran Khan gave NRO to every case of mega corruption under his government from BRT Project to Malam Jabba and from sugar to wheat scandals.”

He said the wife of Justice Qazi Faez Isa was called by the FBR and asked to provide her money trail and demanded that Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar should also provide the trail of his assets.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had given an NRO via amnesties and he gave NRO to his sister Aleema Khan's corruption. “Every advisor and special assistant should also be asked to give their money trail but here has been no answer from the government about the foreign funding case,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said the PPP and PML-N were giving their replies in the courts of law on the allegations, while the “puppet” prime minister and his puppet ministers were trying to hide behind the stay order.

“The NAB will have to adopt the same process for PTI, which it has adopted for the opposition,” he said. He said the government wanted to get dictatorial powers in the name of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by using the backdoor, but they would never allow it to happen.

“The government is also trying to blend the FATF legislation with the NAB legislation, but these are two different issues,” he said. He said the government was making those legislations controversial, which could have been passed easily.

“The government has an undemocratic behaviour and the opposition was censored in the National Assembly,” he said. He said the government was trying to get dictatorial authority in the name of FATF and the bills, which had been passed by the Senate and the National Assembly on Thursday.

“The government included the PPP's amendments to those bills,” he said. He said the government in the garb of FATF wanted to bring a legislation through which it could make any citizen a missing person for six months.

“The PPP could not allow this because its stance has been for democracy and basic human rights,” he said. He said the government falsely linked the FATF related bills with the amendments to the NAB laws.

“I want to make it clear that the government has brought the NAB ordinance in the committee,” he said, adding that what the government was now claiming, it was only deception but they will not back down from their rights through the government’s threats and propaganda.

He said the business community had met the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the government and their narrative was that the NAB and business could not go together.

In this regard, he said former president Asif Ali Zardari had said long ago that the NAB and economy could not go together. “But now after the verdict by the Supreme Court judge Justice Baqar, the NAB and democracy cannot go together.”

He said the government was trying to provide relief to Kulbhushan Jadhav. “Imran Khan was supposed to become ambassador for Kashmir but he has become counsel for Kulbhushan Jadhav and is trying to give him relief through the backdoor,” he said.

Criticizing Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, he said the Speaker had not fulfilled his responsibility adding that he should follow the rules. He said the way the Speaker played his role on Thursday demanded that the combined opposition should bring a motion of no-confidence against him so that the Parliament could play its role to solve the issues of the people through democratic and parliamentary practices.

“I will take up the matter of bringing a no-confidence motion against Speaker National Assembly in the meeting of the All Parties Conference,” he said.

Bilawal said the government was trying to impose a ban on knowledge in the name of Islam and the Punjab government has passed a resolution in this regard. “Islam asks all of us to acquire knowledge; we cannot ban books in the name of Islam,” he said, adding that the Punjab Assembly should review its resolution.

He said the government also wanted to ban the social media and this kind of censorship was not in the interest of Pakistan. “It is unfortunate that the government is imposing censorship in the Senate and the National Assembly,” he said.

Chairman Bilawal said that PTI government had stopped testing for Covid-19 and was claiming that 19 districts of Punjab were Covid-19 free. “They are lying because they are not conducting tests for Covid-19. This will further harm the health and economy of the country,” he said.

Responding to questions, Bilawal said the government accepted their amendments in the two bills, which had been passed on Thursday. He said all the opposition parties together will decide their future actions against government. Bilawal said green passport had been undermined by the government's actions of grounding all the PIA planes and not taking appropriate action against the Covid-19. He said the PTI had promised to create a South Punjab province within hundred days but like all the other promises, it did not fulfill this promise.