Wednesday May 18, 2022

Spat on Nawaz’s return continues

Either Shehbaz Sharif should ask Nawaz to return to Pakistan or legal action will be taken against him, says Fawad Chaudhry

January 03, 2022

KARACHI/ ISLAMABAD: As the spat over return of Nawaz Sharif to the country continues, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Sunday said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the attorney-general for Pakistan (AGP) to ensure the PMLN supremo was brought back at the earliest.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, he said "either Shehbaz Sharif should ask Nawaz to return to Pakistan or legal action will be taken against him for providing a fake affidavit in this regard”.

He said before pursuing the issue of bringing Nawaz Sharif back, a case should be registered against Shehbaz Sharif for submitting a fake affidavit as guarantor of his brother for bringing him back. He said the Lahore High Court (LHC) must take note of it on its own and order Shehbaz to ensure return of Nawaz Sharif to the country.

About the economy, Fawad said that Pakistan was bound to return $55 billion in the next five years to lenders, adding that giving autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan was in the best interest of the country.

Responding to a question, Fawad said the government would get the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 passed by January 20. The minister said that economic stability was returning to Pakistan due to the prudent economic policies of the PTI government and said that special attention was being given to the agriculture sector, while record production had been achieved in five crops.

Fawad said that 2022 would be the year of country’s progress and economic stability. He was talking to the media after condoling with PTI leader Alamgir Khan over the death of his father, Dilawar Khan, in Karachi.

Fawad said rates of commodities had gone up in Pakistan due to increasing price hike in the international market. He said in past the agriculture sector was ignored by previous regimes but the PTI government had taken particular initiatives to boost the sector.

The minister said 100 companies of the country had earned Rs929 billion profit in the current fiscal year and media houses had declared 33 to 40 per cent increase in their profit. He said media houses unfortunately did not increase the salaries of their employees in spite of a huge profit. He urged the private sector to increase the salaries of their employees.

While criticising the PML-N leader Miftah Ismail, he said that his own company also earned a huge profit but he was still denouncing the government. He also congratulated him for earning such a high profit.

Replying to a question regarding coalition partners, he said Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan and Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) ministers in the cabinet gave their assent to the finance bill. Following Fawad's press conference, PMLN Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal said the PTI-led government was suffering from "Nawaz Sharif phobia”.

"The government holds cabinet meetings only to discuss Nawaz Sharif, which shows that it is suffering from Nawaz Sharif phobia," he said.

Ahsan said the new year would be the year of new elections as it was now time for sending the government packing which came to power through rigging. "It is time for Imran Niazi to be retired hurt," he said. Meanwhile, PMLN spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said "Nawaz Sharif had gone abroad for treatment after seeking permission from the country's judiciary”.

"Nawaz will only return to Pakistan after the completion of his medical treatment upon the doctor's advice," she said. "Issuing statement against Nawaz and Shehbaz on a daily basis shows how panicked the government is," Marriyum added. She said the government should not make hue and cry on the media and go for whatever it wanted to do against the PMLN leadership.

She said instead of telling the attorney general to ensure Nawaz's return to Pakistan, the government should direct him to take action against those who steal wheat, sugar, electricity, gas, and medicines.

"The government should instead direct the attorney general to take action against those involved in money laundering, corruption, and those who brought the curse of inflation upon the masses," she said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia government senior advisor Dr. Ali Awadh Asseri met PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif in London and discussed various issues. According to private media sources, the visiting official asked Nawaz Sharif about his health condition and exchanged views with him about relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Sources said Nawaz Sharif also informed the Saudi official about issues related to the incumbent Pakistan government.