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Wednesday May 29, 2024

Constitutional change in Punjab possible: PM

Allegation of Maryam Nawaz got an NRO from the IHC is condemnable as she was acquitted on merit, says PM

By Ag App & Nauman Wahab
October 09, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. —PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. —PID

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Saturday that if change took place in Punjab it would be done in a constitutional manner.

He expressed these views in response to a question after the hearing of money laundering case against him and his son Hamza Shehbaz.

The PM, taking to media persons, said PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif did not ask for any NRO but requested for the investigation of Panama. He said that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and he bravely faced jails, NAB penitentiaries and suffered the worst oppression.

The allegation of Maryam Nawaz got an NRO from the Islamabad High Court is condemnable as she was acquitted on merit, the PM added.

He said that no one was above the law, including the prime minister or governor, claiming that corruption of billions had been proved in the Billion Tree and Malam Jabba cases, but those cases have not been taken up till date. He said the PTI chief was asking for NRO these days, adding that Aleema Khan and Farah Gogi got NRO during the PTI-led government. He said Imran Khan was answerable to the nation, adding, “I (Shehbaz) have proved through facts that you (Imran) are a fraud and liar.”

He said the PTI chairman conspired against the nation, which has been proved through the audios that have surfaced showing Imran’s drama and lies. “The way our relations with the US were destroyed I have never seen a bigger conspiracy against Pakistan. We are making efforts to mend our relations with the US,” he added.

He said that he had not seen in his life a bigger liar, conspirator, deceiver, and fraudster than Imran Khan.

Referring to the PTI chairman, the PM said the country’s prime minister was bidding (buying parliamentarians) in the PM House, adding that Imran had set up a market of buying and selling and conscience was being sold.

Referring to the recent audio leaks, PM Shehbaz questioned if there could be a bigger crime than the one done by a sitting PM. “Listen to his (Imran) audio in which he asked not to mention the name of America and then told the people that there was a real freedom war going on,” he added.

Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) , while giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son former Punjab chief minister Hamza Shehbaz, informed the court that there was no direct evidence against the father-son duo in the Rs16 billion money laundering case against them.

As the hearing commenced, the counsel of Shehbaz, advocate Amjad Pervez, argued that the FIA had removed the allegation of Rs9 billion from the challan. He further argued that it has been informed that to the extent of allegation of those five bank accounts of Rs9 billion have nothing to do with Shehbaz Sharif and his son, adding that those belonged to another accused Mushtaq Cheeni and the FIA had not initiated a probe against him.

The counsel maintained that the allegations of kickbacks mentioned in the FIR had not been made a part of the challan, adding it seems that the case in hand has been made after taking inspiration from famous drama series Money Heist.

Quoting the recent decision in the Mooni Elahi’s money laundering case, the counsel said that this case was also of similar nature. The judge asked to explain the similarity, upon which counsel Amjad Pervez replied that Elahi’s case also revolved around the allegation of transferring money through employees who were paid less.

He told the court that PM Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz could not be punished for relying upon the record that had been collected or submitted before the court during the previous government’s tenure.

Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz, taking the rostrum, told the court that he had not taken his salary and TA/DA in his last three tenures when he served as chief minister Punjab, adding the amount was in millions. “So how could I even think of earning the money of Rs2.5 million or above fraudulently.”

During the hearing, the counsel for Shehbaz, Amjad Pervez, concluded his arguments in the application for the PM’s acquittal, while arguments by the counsel for Hamza are yet to be completed. The judge adjourned the proceedings till October 11 for arguments on Hamza Shehbaz’s acquittal application.