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PTI leaders laud Aleem Khan's decision to quit ministry following arrest

February 06, 2019

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Aleem Khan was taken into custody by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials in Lahore on Wednesday for owning assets beyond his known sources of income. — File
Aleem Khan was taken into custody by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials in Lahore on Wednesday for owning assets beyond his known sources of income. — File

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on Wednesday said that fellow Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Aleem Khan has set a great example by tendering his resignation following his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) earlier in the day.

Khan was taken into custody by NAB officials in Lahore over allegations of owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

Sarwar, while speaking to media, said that the first thing Khan did following his arrest was to resign from his ministry, adding that according to the party's ideology everyone was equal before the law.

"This is the standard PTI wants to set," he said.

The governor noted that Khan had obliged every time he was summoned by NAB and had been very cooperative with the bureau.

He, however, made it clear that those "who have looted the country in the past 30 years should be held strictly accountable".

Governor Sarwar also chaired a meeting along with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in Lahore to discuss the situation arising from the senior minister's arrest, during which they expressed "complete solidarity" with the minister, according to Radio Pakistan.

The PTI leaders appreciated Khan's decision to resign while hailing his services for the party. They also agreed to avoid politicising the issue.

PTI's Secretary General Arshad Dad, meanwhile, said that by resigning from his ministry, Khan has laid the foundation of a strong democratic tradition.

Dad reiterated that countering corruption was on top of their party's reforms agenda and that they had been working towards it from the start.

He said that his party would neither exert their influence on institutions or raise cries such as mujhe kyun nikala (why did they oust me) — referring to the famous slogan used by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif following his ouster from the top office.

Furthermore, Dad advised his fellow party leaders against making critical statements against NAB.

Khan's arrest not a balancing act: Chaudhry

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry made it clear that Khan's arrest was not a balancing act and that justice should be done, Radio Pakistan reported.

He also reiterated that the PTI government would not offer a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to any corrupt individuals and that cases against "all corrupt elements will be taken to their logical conclusion".

Chaudhry said that the decision was taken during a meeting of senior party leaders chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

The information minister said that the party leaders had expressed their concern regarding the way Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif was using the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as a shield against his corruption cases.

Chaudhry claimed that the PML-N are trying to include former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique in the PAC "so that he could also benefit from the shield".