Shehbaz, Fazl talk of respect for army nice: Fawad

News Desk
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

By Our correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said it is good omen that Shehbaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman have realised that the Army should be given respect.

Speaking in Geo News programme ‘Naya Pakistan Shahzad Iqbal Ke Saath’, he said on Saturday that they were moving around with their CVs in their hands to strike some deal and get a job, but nothing was going to happen now. He said their CVs were worn out and they would not get any benefit from it. He said both had lost their political worth lately, and they would not get anything in future. He said the institutions of Pakistan had no interest in any undemocratic moves now.

The information minister said that due to uncalled for objections from the opposition political parties, even the good initiatives of the government get controversial.

He said if the opposition parties would object to every legislation of the government, it would become really hard to bring in reforms. He said only those reforms had been introduced through the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 which had been pointed by the media and the opposition time and again. He said the opposition wanted NAB to prove that any billions of rupees detected in anybody’s account had been acquired through commission in some particular project. He said it was really difficult, as the corrupt mostly get commission or kickbacks through their front persons. However, he added, the PTI government wanted the person(s) to tell the source of income if huge money was detected in their bank accounts.

The information minister said all efforts had been made to make the political parties sit with the government to discuss and bring about reforms in the NAB and electoral laws. He said it was a real issue that PMLN’s decisions were being made in London, and not in the country, and the opposition parties wanted to discuss only cases against the party leaderships and not reforms. He said the opposition parties leaders’ cases were being heard by the courts and the government could not give them any ‘NRO’ [deal]. He said the government was ready to make changes in the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 through an act of parliament if the opposition parties had any objection to some particular clauses.

Fawad said the government would have given four-year extension to NAB chairman had it wanted so. But that was not the case, and the government had laid down a detailed process of consultations for appointment of the new NAB chairman. He said NAB had found opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif guilty in its investigations, therefore consultation process with the opposition could not be launched so far. He said the consultation process for the purpose could start the next week, but that consultation could be done with the opposition leaders and not Shehbaz Sharif.

He said the bar council did not give an independent opinion on the NAB Amendment Ordinance, as its chief was the parliamentary leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

To the anchorperson questions, the minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s name was not mentioned anywhere in Malam Jabba scandal. He said the Competition Commission was investigating the sugar scandal. He said the commission had imposed Rs46-billion fine on sugar mills and they had moved the high court against the decision.

He said the PTI government had done nothing to the opposition leaders. The PPP and the PMLN leaders were facing cases which they had made against each other during their tenures of government.

Speaking in the programme, former chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi said the IMF was exerting pressure on Pakistan for some particular reasons. He said the government should focus on restoring good relations with the US. He said when the issues would be resolved with the US, the IMF problem would also be solved.

He said the government would not impose any new tax and neither it would withdraw any exemption on the IMF pressure.

Separately, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Saturday advised that PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif should not vent his anger at the injustices done to him in the party by making unconstitutional and undemocratic demands.

Reacting to the news conference of Shehbaz Sharif and JUIF chief Fazlur Rehman, he said Shehbaz should first decide whether he was in the party or the elder brother had thrown him out with the help of his close aides.

Fawad claimed that the PMLN politics had been buried by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

The minister opined that Nawaz Sharif was treating his brother and Maryam Nawaz her uncle Shehbaz Sharif like Zardari and Bilawal had treated Fazl.

He suggested that Fazl and Shehbaz should join hands and make an association of victims.

The minister alleged that the current inflation in the country was outcome of billions of rupees of corruption and foreign loans taken by previous governments for personal gains.

Fawad shared details of alleged corruption committed by PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz by laundering money abroad through fake accounts.

He shared the information on his Twitter account in response to the opposition tirade against the government’s anti-corruption drive.

The information included transcript of the case registered by the Anti-Corruption Circle (FIA), Lahore against Shehbaz and his son for opening and operating 57 ‘fictitious’ bank accounts in the name of low-wage employees of Ramzan Sugar Mill (RSML).

The minister pointed out that since clear and convincing documentary evidence had transpired during the inquiry, especially with reference to the sugar mills owned by Shehbaz Sharif family (Al-Arabia & RSML), the inquiry was upgraded into an FIR (FIR NO. 39/2020 of FIA Anti-Corruption Circle Lahore, and a formal investigation was initiated on 14-11-2020.

The details also mentioned the revelations made in the inquiry stating that total deposits amounting to over Rs25 billion were received in at least 57 fake ID bank accounts opened and operated in the name of 20 employees of RSML, and fictitious companies set up and controlled for benefit of the Sharif family.

The minister maintained that Shehbaz and his son Hamza were on bail till October 30 in a money laundering case (Sugar Mills case) amounting to Rs25 billion.

Meanwhile, AJK President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry called on Fawad here and briefed him on his recent visit to the United States and his meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN). Fawad said independence of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and provision of basic rights to its people were among the priority agendas of Prime Minister Imran Khan.