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September 29, 2020

‘Fine if institutions favour you, bad if they don’t’

Top Story

September 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Monday said PML-N President Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was punished for not giving a satisfactory reply to the court while he considered it disgrace to appear before any institution.

Speaking at a news conference here along with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar, Shibli emphasised that the Shahbaz Sharif’s arrest was a court decision and therefore, it should not be made a political trial. The minister also contended that Maryam Nawaz was claiming today that they were ‘khandani raees’.

Shibli made it clear that being a ‘khandani raees’ and building assets was not a bad thing but one of the reasons why Shahbaz was arrested was that he could not satisfy the court. “He did not answer the questions asked. Even Nawaz Sharif could not satisfy the court regarding his assets,” said Shibli.

The minister said making money properly was not forbidden and there were no restrictions on it, but Shahbaz believed that asking him a questionwas an insult to his dignity.

“This will not happen now”. He said Shahbaz was punished, as he could not answer satisfactorily. “If a student doesn't answer the questions in the exam, he will fail”.

“If institutions work according to your intentions, it is fine. If they follow the law, then it is wrong with those who have children and capital abroad. What do they have in the country? The claim is of a democratic party but the attitude is more arrogant than the kings,” he asserted.

The minister contended that if the sources of assets were revealed, then the case would be over. “If they considered it a disgrace to appear before an institution, this would not happen. The 300-kanal house of Prime Minister Imran Khan was mentioned. It was not a public office. Imran Khan's hard earned money came to the country through legal means while they compare Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif, which I consider an insult,” Shibli said.

He said they (Sharifs) thought that all were like them and noted that Imran Khan gave a 40-year money trail.

“The Supreme Court declared Imran Khan honest and trustworthy in their government tenure but Shahbaz did not answer a single question. And he made himself oppressed under the tag of political victimization; if the tax authority or court asks about sources, the answer is given.”

Shahzad Akbar said it had become clear now that Shahbaz Sharif and his party had lost the legal battle. “Maryam Nawaz's press conference was a full-fledged program and her press conference was a charge against her own,” he said, adding that on the basis of evidence, the court had rejected the bail before arrest of PML-N leader.

“A court decision has been announced and it is irrelevant now who says what. Giving political colour to a court decision is a contempt of court,” he argued. “Maryam Nawaz admitted that her uncle does politics of reconciliation but she does not do politics of reconciliation. The promising niece hit her uncle very hard and hit a telling blow to him ending his politics,” he said.

Shahzad said PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb left after giving a speech like a hired spokeswoman. She could face contempt of court, he added. Shahzad Akbar asked how many times Shahbaz Sharif visited Gilgit-Baltistan in the last six months and how many times did he address there.

“The PML-N is a party of the regional section of Punjab. What do they have to do with the Gilgit-Baltistan elections?” he wondered. He pointed that Shahbaz had made assets in excess of his income and committed corruption of billions.

“These are Alibaba and smart thieves. Your employees are accepting that they have nothing to do with the benami (anonymous companies). It is clearly written in the reference that it was 'organized money laundering.”

The Lahore High Court, he noted, rejected Shahbaz Sharif’s bail when it saw that the arrest was being made. When the court rejected the bail application, he said it was a nexus with the NAB. Do you want selected decisions, which are in your favour?” he asked.

He contended that the matter of children was different while Shahbaz Sharif had assets apart from his income, he had made this money from money laundering and this was the case in which it had been said that he had tried to launder black money.

“Shahbaz Sharif laundered money through his wife's account while he used the money to buy a car and a bungalow for his second wife,” he said. Shahzad asked why would Manzoor Paparwala send money to Shahbaz wife's account while he had directly benefited from money laundering and this money was not his own but it had been made by violating the rights of the people and when people were putting money in his account, the NAB would ask him a question.

He emphasized that benami companies were made in the name of employees of Shahbaz and this was the money of kickbacks.