Chohan ridicules Maryam’s press conference

Updated 29 Sep 2020

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In this 2019 file photo, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan addresses the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this 2019 file photo, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan addresses the media in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan says Maryam Nawaz’s linking of Shahbaz Sharif’s arrest with the Gilgit-Baltistan elections is ridiculous.

He asked Ms Nawaz to tell that how many PML-N leaders, including Shahbaz, visited Gilgit-Baltistan in the past six months.

Reacting to Ms Nawaz’s press conference after opposition leader Shahbaz’s arrest by NAB, Mr Chohan said Shahbaz had been arrested for his ‘wrongdoings’ during the past four decades particularly the last 10 years. He said the accountability institutions and courts had collected evidences about Shahbaz Sharif’s corruption after hectic efforts spanning years.

The minister said the PML-N had ruled the country through their family members but now it was accusing the incumbent government of making Pakistan a one-party state. He said the ongoing political tensions between Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif could not be camouflaged by hurling mere statements and rhetoric.

PPP says rulers to face real accountability soon

Regarding Ms Nawaz’s statement that accountability was political revenge, he said Shahbaz’s pre-arrest bail had been dismissed on the basis of his proven corruption and dishonesty. He said Ms Nawaz perhaps did not know that more than one and a half dozen accused in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case had been arrested in the Ramzan Sugar Mill case and many of them had become approvers and provided evidence of money laundering. He said the Sharif’s family used characters like Sharafat Massih, Manzoor Papperwala, Mushtaq Cheeni, Masroor Ahmad and Nisar Gill for money laundering.

He also said that Ms Nawaz unsuccessfully tried to intimidate the government at the MPC and added people had already seen failure and disgrace of dozens of such MPCs by the non-united opposition.

PPP: The PPP has, however, criticised the arrest of Shahbaz Sharif and indictment of former president Asif Zardari.

PPP leader and ex-governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood says that worried by the recently formed opposition parties’ alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement, ‘selected’ Prime Minister Imran Khan has resorted to negative tactics by sending notices to the politicians from opposition parties.

In a statement, he regrets that the ‘political vendetta’ is continuing even during the coronavirus epidemic.

He questioned why the former dictator wanted in a treason case was neither summoned nor arrested by ant agency, likewise three special assistants to the prime minister and Imran Khan’s sister are not investigated for holding assets beyond means by the National Accountability Bureau.

He said the masses would respond to the protest call if and when given by the leadership to send the incumbent rulers packing.

PPP parliamentary secretary Hassan Murtaza alleged that there were two laws in vogue simultaneously in the country – one for the opposition and the other for the ruling PTI.

He said Imran Niazi was fixing the opposition while giving concessions to those who abrogated the Constitution and proved that the prime minister has nothing to do with accountability.

He regrets that a tax amnesty scheme was introduced overnight to rescue Aleema Baji, a sister of PM Imran, and a the special assistant was given a clean bill of financial health when the media exposed his assets beyond known means of income.

Also, Mr Murtaza says, the opposition leader was arrested without any evidence and likewise a former head of state and his whole family are being held accountable under ‘frivolous’ charges, while a former army ruler is roaming freely despite being wanted in a high treason case.

He cautioned that the time for ‘real’ accountability was round the corner and the wrongdoers would have to pay the price.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2020