ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that no country had approached him to strike any concessional deal with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to provide him a safe exit.
The prime minister passed these remarks while presiding over a meeting of the parliamentary committee of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) at Parliament House.
Some of the participants expressed concern over some proposals in the federal budget 2019-20, saying the budget would bring more hardship to the middle classes.
“No country has approached me to ask for concessions for Nawaz Sharif,” a participant of the meeting quoted the prime minister as saying.
He said the prime minister reiterated his resolve that no National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-like concession deal would be made with Mr Sharif. “We will not grant any NRO to Nawaz Sharif and national wealth looted by former rulers will be recovered at any cost,” he added.
He said the opposition was using “pressure tactics” to seek NRO for Mr Sharif and evade accountability for corruption.
PTI legislators urge Imran to provide relief to the middle class in budget
Some private TV channels reported that Prime Minister Khan said in the meeting that the Saudi government had not asked him to give any NRO to Nawaz Sharif.
However, the PM said, he was expecting that Turkey would definitely ask him to give some relaxation to the jailed leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) who had been convicted by the accountability court of Islamabad in a corruption case.
According to TV channels, the prime minister said he was expecting that Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan would talk to him about Nawaz Sharif, but the Turkish president did not do so.
A PTI leader told Dawn that some of the participants asked the prime minister to provide some relief to the middle class people in the recently announced budget.
The prime minister was told that majority of ruling PTI voters belonged to the middle class and the party could lose its support among the public if no relief was given to the middle class.
Prime Minister Khan agreed with the suggestion that the government must make the budget beneficial to the middle class people, saying they were the backbone of the economy.
The meeting also discussed overall political situation in the country in the backdrop of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Falur Rehman’s plan to convene a multi-party conference in the federal capital on Wednesday (today).
On this the prime minister was confident that the people would not take to the streets on the opposition’s call because they had seen corruption of the previous rulers, who were now in the opposition.
Besides PTI legislators, the meeting was also attended by the allies of the ruling party and discussed the strategy to get the budget passed from the National Assembly amid the opposition’s protest and criticism.
A participant said Prime Minister Khan asked the legislators to urge people in their constituencies to take maximum benefit of the tax amnesty scheme by declaring their hidden assets.
He hoped that a large number of people would declare their assets in the last six days of the scheme which would expire on June 30.
Prime Minister Khan held separate meetings with some members of the National Assembly at his Parliament House chamber, adds APP.
The MNAs who called on the PM included Shaheen Saifullah, Talib Hussain Nakai, Saleh Mohammad Khan, Aurangzeb Khichi, Niaz Ahmed Jhakar, Haji Imtiaz Ahmed, Umer Aslam Khan, Nawab Sher Waseer, Khurram Shehzad, Farrukh Habib, Faizullah and Raja Riaz Ahmed.
Special Assistant to the PM on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq was present at the meetings.
A delegation of the Balochistan Awami Party also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The delegation included federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and MNAs Mohammad Israr Tareen, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Ehsanullah Reki and Robina Irfan, the PM office said in a press release.
Federal Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak and the PM’s Special Assistants Naeemul Haq and Nadeem Afzal Gondal were also present.
Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2019