ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that if (Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly) Hamza Shahbaz were a “real” political leader, he would have cooperated with the National Accountability Bureau team, instead of resisting his arrest.
Talking to the media at a real estate exhibition, the minister said: “The hue and cry you hear is from the corrupt elements from Lahore to Larkana. It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that big fish are being arrested under the accountability law.
“There is no threat to democracy, economy or Islam in the country, only the future of corrupt people is in danger due to the actions by NAB,” Mr Chaudhry added.
For the first time, big fish are being held under accountability law, says Fawad
He said earlier they had heard (Pakistan Peoples Party leaders) Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and now it was Hamza Shahbaz “yelling against NAB as they have been caught red-handed” by the accountability watchdog and could not escape the law.
Referring to the raid at Hamza Shahbaz’s house where the NAB team was manhandled by the party workers, the minister said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had the history of attacking national institutions as its activists had attacked the Supreme Court in the past, and now they had attacked the NAB team performing its legal duty.
He said that Hamza Shahbaz instead of cooperating with NAB, “unleashed” his staff that attacked and tortured the bureau team and interfered in official business.
“Assets of Shahbaz Sharif worth Rs85 billion have been unearthed abroad and proofs of Hamza Shahbaz’s involvement in money laundering have been traced,” the minister said, adding that in reaction to the NAB action, the institution was ridiculed but the process of accountability would not stop by such threats. He reiterated that if two persons were to be named for plundering the country than it were Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif as they were responsible for the economic crisis Pakistan faced.
Chaudhry Fawad said since creation of Pakistan till 2008, foreign debt of Pakistan stood at $37 billion but during the last 10 years it crossed the figure of $97bn.
He said that economy would witness a positive change in six months as preliminary work on “Apna Ghar Scheme” had been completed and its launch would bring a positive change in the national economy.
Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2019