ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Thursday responded to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif’s press conference, accusing him not only of trying to hoodwink the masses but also backtracking on his commitments.

Speaking outside the Parliament House, she referred to the famous quote attributed to Nazi regime’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ‘‘repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth’’ and alleged that Shahbaz Sharif was a follower of this theory.

“You agreed to the option of filing the indemnity bonds in the rooms but started to deny it in front of the media,” she said, maintaining that the PML-N president was deceiving the public again.

“But the masses cannot be fooled repeatedly; everybody knows your real face and not only you but the whole party and the Sharif family are playing politics over the medical condition of Nawaz Sharif,” Dr Firdous said.

Firdous points out that no convict on ECL has ever been allowed to leave country

She said that describing the Nawaz Sharif case as a ‘shuttlecock’ was unrealistic. “We have given him the best possible legal option, but your family and the party have made a ‘football’ out of this case — kicking the sick man from one end to other only for the sake of politics,” the government’s spokesperson remarked.

Dr Firdous lambasted Shahbaz Sharif over his argument that the court decision against Nawaz Sharif had been made controversial as the judge had become controversial.

“The same judge has cleared you in a case — why not demand retrial in that case too?” the special assistant added.

She said that in the country’s history no convict on the ECL was allowed to leave the country. Both retired Gen Musharraf and Zulfiqar Bokhari had not been convicted, she added.

“Why are you not accepting this option — is life of Mr Nawaz dear or money dearer? It is so strange that even the children of Nawaz Sharif are not willing to pay the indemnity bonds,” she said.

She said that the indemnity bonds were mere guarantees based on the fines imposed by the courts in several cases against Nawaz Sharif.

The special assistant said that the PML-N had filed the case in court and the government would respect the decision of the court.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2019