ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday urged Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to ensure that the advisers and special assistants to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah declare their assets.

He was of the view that if advisers and special assistants to the prime minister could declare their assets, why not the chief minister’s aides.

“Such a shame at Bilawal Bhutto, that in Sindh you are trying to hide assets of your special assistants and advisors from public. People in Sindh have to move private member bill in assembly. For your information, in the federal government we declared assets voluntarily,” the adviser tweeted.

Later, talking to Dawn, Mr Akbar said all advisers and special assistants had made their assets public, and even faced criticism from the opposition, especially the PPP chairman.

“He (Bilawal) always criticises the prime minister’s advisers and special assistants by saying that some have luxurious cars and houses, but why does he not ask the Sindh chief minister to see to it that his aides declare their assets as well,” he said.

Mr Akbar said two members of the Sindh Assembly had to move a bill on Wednesday, seeking declaration of assets of the chief minister’s aides.

“I believed that before such a bill was moved, Bilawal should have ordered the chief minister to ask his advisers and special assistants to make details of their assets public,” the PM’s adviser added.

PPP reacts

Responding to Shahzad Akbar’s tweet, PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel said Mr Akbar got the top position of the prime minister’s adviser on interior and accountability by selling “missing persons”.

“Shahzad Akbar should tell the nation at what price he sold the missing persons,” Mr Patel said, adding that he could not improve his image by mudslinging Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

The PPP leader said it was not a big deal that people like Shahzad Akbar acquired top positions in, what he called, “Benami” (nameless) government.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was a “puppet prime minister” which was why people like Shahzad Akbar had become part of the government.

Published in Dawn, October 1st , 2020