Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government will not be successful in its mission until and unless the same treatment is meted out to influential political leaders in jail as is to any common man.
Chaudhry, while addressing a public gathering in Gujranwala, cited the Sharif and Rafique brothers' examples to claim that the system treats the rich and the poor differently.
The minister said that both the sets of siblings, have been afforded "VIP treatment" of such kind during their incarceration that half the country could say: "Send me to jail too".
"The bitter truth is, the law is different for the rich and the poor," Chaudhry said vowing on behalf of the party to continue the struggle against injustice. "Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's mission will not be successful until we have the same laws for everyone and the class system is abolished."
The outspoken information minister also questioned why Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif were dissatisfied with the quality of healthcare considering they spent decades in power.
"Nawaz Sharif who now has to undergo treatment in Pakistan's hospitals is not satisfied with the facilities," he said. "You [Nawaz Sharif] were the prime minister for 30 years, your younger brother was chief minister and now you don't like the hospitals here?"
Furthermore, Chaudhry defended the incumbent government's conduct as well as the accountability drive it has spearheaded since coming into power.
He claimed that the PTI government had inherited a virtually "bankrupt economy", and that the previous governments had taken 84 per cent of the loans the country has ever taken over the last 10 years alone.
"When we ask them where all that [loan] money went, they say that democracy is under threat," he said. "Their situation can be likened to when prayers are offered in jail. A murderer makes the prayer call, a dacoit leads the prayer and thieves line up behind him to pray.
In further criticism, the information minister said that money allotted for the welfare of the people was badly misused by the past rulers.
"Money allotted for the development of Larkana, leaves Karachi, but ends up being found in Dubai," he said. "Similarly, Punjab development funds leave Lahore, then turns up in London in the form of Avenfield apartments. These two parties have turned Pakistan into a joke."
Chaudhry also responded to criticism leveled towards the government for not providing subsidy to Haj pilgrims this year.
"What have they left behind in the poor people's pockets that we will take from them to give a subsidy," he said.
The minister said that the prime minister has to date not taken a single penny from the national exchequer, despite having every right to, as he regards himself accountable to the people.