PML-N demands sugar probe panel summon Imran, Buzdar

Updated 28 May 2020

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Marriyum Aurangzeb heaps criticism on PTI dispensation for bad governance; Fayyazul Hassan Chohan rebuts charges. — APP/File
Marriyum Aurangzeb heaps criticism on PTI dispensation for bad governance; Fayyazul Hassan Chohan rebuts charges. — APP/File

LAHORE/RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Wednesday demanded that the sugar inquiry commission summon Prime Minister Imran Khan and called for resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for their role in giving subsidy worth billions of rupees to mills despite shortage of the sweetener in the country.

Addressing a press conference at Satellite Town, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the [inquiry] commission had found Imran Khan guilty in the sugar scam and it should summon Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar to grill them in the backdrop of the wheat and sugar crises.

She said PM Khan and CM Buzdar were main culprits in this case. “It was Imran Khan who accorded approval to the ECC decisions. Imran Khan was not summoned by the sugar commission, if Nawaz Sharif can be summoned in Joint Investigation Team as prime minister then why not Imran Khan appear before the commission?” she asked.

The former information minister said the sugar scam was not an ordinary case as the Imran Khan-led federal cabinet allowed sugar export despite shortage of the commodity in the country and ‘innocent’ Usman Buzdar gave subsidy on the directives of the premier.

Marriyum Aurangzeb heaps criticism on PTI dispensation for bad governance; Fayyazul Hassan Chohan rebuts charges

In a veiled reference to Shahzad Akbar, adviser to prime minister Imran Khan, the PML-N spokesperson said: “Namaloom adviser is conducting circus in Press Information Department (PID) daily just to malign PTI’s political opponents and the only purpose of the government is to put opponents in jails. Shahzad Akbar will also read the reply of Abdul Razak Dawood and Asad Umar in the report. Imran Khan and Usman Bazdar cannot be saved after sugar theft.”

Ms Auranzeb demanded explanation as to why export of sugar was allowed and the commission did not call Khusro Bakhtiar and his brother? “His younger brother is also a minister in Punjab,” she added.

She said Shahbaz Sharif’s name was being associated with Salman Shahbaz sugar mill but no export was made from the mill and it had been monitored by the FBR and FIA for the last two years. “Nawaz Sharif’s Chaudhry Sugar Mill is also closed for the last two years,” she said.

“We don’t want to do politics on plane crash but ‘selected’ Prime Minister Imran Khan was missing for the last many days. However, he was found in Nathia Gali during Eid days. The nation was suffering from grief over the plane crash and train accidents as well as facing pandemic but he was busy in recreational trip,” she said.

She alleged that Asad Umar and Razzaq Daud also failed to satisfy the inquiry commission. “The government should present the ‘real culprits’ before the commission instead of saving their skins from heat,” she said adding that the commission had declared the answers of Asad Umar unsatisfied.

She said Nawaz Sharif made Pakistan a nuclear power but he was being victimised without any reason. He said the PML-N leaders were not corrupt and they always worked for bringing about uplift in the lives of people of Pakistan.

“PTI has failed to launch new development projects in the country and that is why its leadership is levelling baseless allegations against the PML-N leaders,” she said.

In Lahore, PML-N Punjab information secretary Azma Bokhari and former provincial minister Rana Mashhood in a presser demanded resignation of CM Usman Buzdar for his alleged role in the sugar scam case.

“After approving subsidy of billions of rupees to the sugar mills and expressing his ignorance that he does not know what had happened in that meeting in which he approved the subsidy he must resign forthwith and face trial,” Azma told a press conference in Model Town here on Wednesday.

“Imran Khan should be made part of the sugar scam investigation so that the truth comes to fore,” she demanded and added that Mr Khan had quarantined himself at Nathia Gali. The sugar panel report was incomplete without investigation of the premier, she added.

She said the Sharif family had not taken any subsidy on sugar from the PTI government.

Meanwhile, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan termed the statements of PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb against Imran Khan a hollow criticism.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2020