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Thursday February 29, 2024

‘IB chief must think over it’: Army chief pledges no role in politics, says Fawad Chaudhry

Fawad said the army chief and the DG ISI have given an assurance that they would not indulge in politics, and the head of Intelligence Bureau should also think over it

By News Desk & Our Correspondent
July 08, 2022
PTI Senior Vice President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain. Photo: The News/File
PTI Senior Vice President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Thursday said the army chief and the director general (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have given an assurance that they would not indulge in politics, and the head of Intelligence Bureau should also think over it.

Addressing a news conference, Fawad said he had written a letter to the Cabinet Division secretary regarding Marriyum Aurangzeb’s role in giving concessions to the tobacco industry for benefiting her husband. “In the letter, we have asked how Marriyum Aurangzeb was lobbying as a minister for giving concessions to the tobacco industry while her husband represents the industry. We have asked in what capacity she was attending the budgetary meetings. Whether her participation in those meetings was not a conflict of interest? There is a perception that she is attending these meetings for getting concessions at the behest of her husband.

“After response on this letter, we will send a reference to the Election Commission for her disqualification,” he noted. He contended that it was a case of straightforward dishonesty and betrayal of trust, smoking and tobacco were being discouraged all over the world and the sector was being given incentives in Pakistan.

Fawad alleged the 'fascist imported government' was harassing journalist Imran Riaz Khan, who visited various courts overnight. “What is happening is a clear violation of the Supreme Court verdict in Safia Bibi case,” he said and explained that in that case, the apex court had ruled that when more than one FIR was registered on the same charge, arrest in one would be considered arrest in all cases.

He said it was beyond comprehension why magistrates and sessions courts were disobeying the court order. “We are hopeful that Imran Riaz will be released soon, the continuation of atrocities will be broken soon,” he said and requested the SC that the Safia Bibi case decision should be implemented in the Imran Riaz case also.

He claimed the solar panel project was worth Rs50 billion, but it did not seek the opinion of any province, as the imported government had not taken the provinces into confidence on the solar policy. He said the solar panel project was taking the shape of a scandal in front of everyone. The courts should take immediate action, he requested.

Fawad Chaudhry said the PTI would move the Lahore High Court (LHC) against 19 Punjab by-poll candidates, who had been de-notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in May. These PTI MPAs were denotified for casting votes for PMLN’s Hamza Shehbaz against the party policy.

In the press conference, referring to Article 63 of the Constitution, Fawad said that the candidates were not qualified for contesting the elections, adding that the PTI would file a petition in the LHC in this regard on Friday (today). “Aleem Khan is not contesting the by-election, hence, we will not file a petition against him,” he added.

Fawad said the PMLN workers were not ready to cast their votes for turncoats and claimed that the alliance of the PTI and PMLQ would win all 20 seats during the upcoming by-elections. “Hamza Shehbaz’s government is a guest of 10 days,” he said, adding that PMLN had lost majority after the addition of five more PTI members in the House. “After July 22, the PTI will be ruling Punjab,” he added.

He said PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s pilots were receiving threatening calls from unknown numbers, and urged the authorities to take notice of it.

Separately, PTI Senior Vice-President Dr Shireen Mazari asked the 'handlers of institutions and the incumbent government what they wanted after all'.

Talking to reporters here on the occasion of her appearance before the commission formed to probe the issue of her arrest, she said, “We respect all institutions and are not attacking any institution; but we want to ask the handlers of institutions and the present government what they want to do after all?”

She said: “I think the institutions that have the job of defending Pakistan should not work with the imported government to destroy Pakistan. Our question was and still is from these institutions: what exactly they want as Pakistan is going on the path of destruction.”

Dr Mazari said the commission listened to her, and summoned senior police officers in the next meeting. “On my illegal arrest and also the kidnapping, it was the first meeting of the commission set up on the orders of the Islamabad High Court to investigate it, in which the commission has asked the IGP to submit a report”.

She told the commission that she was not given any arrest warrants; therefore, it was not an arrest but a kidnapping. The IGP Islamabad has been summoned for July 14 and asked that instead of sending a junior officer, senior officers should themselves appear.

Dr Mazari said, “I think the message should go to those who are the handlers of this government that the supremacy and sovereignty of Pakistan is most important; whether the purpose of the change of government was to give an NRO to these thieves, that is what seems to be the purpose, an NRO is given in every cabinet meeting,” she added.

The PTI leader said that former law minister Farogh Naseem had put in place a criminal law clause, in which he was giving protection to the institution i.e. even if one would name the army, he would have to go to jail for five years. The cabinet had rejected the bill and then he did not table it.