ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz has announced that the government will utilise all legal means to bring back ex-premier Nawaz Sharif from London and he will not be allowed to evade the law on the pretext of a ‘fudged’ medical report.
Senator Faraz said the opposition wanted changes to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws to escape from the process of accountability in return for supporting the FATF bill. “But we will never bow down to such blackmailing,” he said while addressing a news conference at the Press Information Department (PID) on Friday.
He also said the opposition parties would be responsible if the country was blacklisted by the FATF as they were resisting the required amendments to the laws. The government would not be blackmailed by the opposition parties “under any circumstances”, he vowed, adding that they would have to face the law for alleged corruption.
Shibli says opposition will be responsible if Pakistan gets blacklisted by FATF
According to him, the opposition demanded 35 amendments in NAB law for personal gains. He said the opposition’s approach was benefitting Pakistan’s enemies who wanted to see the country blacklisted by the FATF.
“The final review is in October and we hope to get out of the grey list but if the enemies of the nation succeed, Pakistan will be placed in the blacklist… what will it mean?” Senator Faraz said. “It clearly means serious loss to the economy, extreme rise in prices and all imports will be too costly for the people of Pakistan to afford.”
The minister said the current state of the economy and its import-based structure were due to the opposition parties’ ill-intended policies in the past.
The FATF-related amendments in the laws are set to be presented in the parliament on Monday (August 24).
Senator Faraz said the opposition should vote for the bills, as they were responsible for the money laundering allegations against Pakistan. “They have siphoned money out of the country through illegal means and the whole nation was paying price for it not only in the shape of a weak economy but in the shape of FATF due to their violations of international laws including money laundering,” he added.
He said the former rulers made policies for their personal interests and benefits, while the focus of every policy by Prime Minister Imran Khan was for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.
He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo should come back, answer the allegations against him and fight his case in courts again. “If he is innocent, why is he running away,” the minister said, adding, “We will use all legal means to bring back Nawaz Sharif. It is the duty of the government to bring back those who are required by law, the government will ask the NAB to contact the Foreign Office in this regard.”
Senator Faraz said ex-PM Sharif did not even get one X-ray screening in London, but he was seen drinking coffee and doing politics in London, getting in touch with Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. “The only person he is not in contact with is Shahbaz Sharif,” the minister said.
The spokesman for the government also mocked Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of ex-PM, for “creating a scene outside NAB office” instead of responding to NAB queries. He also said: “I do not consider Maryam Nawaz or Bilawal Bhutto as politicians just like I am not a noted poet.”
Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2020