Govt, PML-N trade barbs over Shehbaz bail

Published April 19, 2021
This file photo shows Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif. — AFP/File
This file photo shows Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill on Sunday said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was telling lies on the issue of bail of jailed opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, adding the government had always paid due resp­ect to courts and honoured its decisions.

“The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has no influence on the courts,” M Gill said while speaking at a press conference along with PTI lawyer Syed Ali Bukhari.

PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb reacted to the remarks of Mr Gill and demanded contempt of court proceedings against him for what she called “twisting the judgement” of Lahore High Court.

Opposition party accused of telling lies; contempt of court proceedings sought against PM’s aide

The SAPM said the court decisions must not be misinterpreted as Maryam Aurangzeb’s remarks that bail had earlier been granted to Shehbaz Sharif was aimed to give an impression of a change in the decision. “The news about the bail of Shehbaz Sharif was released by TV channels on their own which has exposed PML-N leaders’ lies and now they are making hue and cry over ‘injustice’ with Shehbaz Sharif.”

Mr Gill said total assets of Shahbaz Sharif were worth Rs2.1 million in 1990 which increased to Rs25m in 1998 and further rose to Rs7 billion from 2008 to 2018. “Similarly, total assets of Hamza Shehbaz amounted to Rs10m in the past which are touching the figure of Rs530m today. Instead of the father, heavy amounts were transferred to the sons’ accounts through telegraphic transfer (TTs),” he added.

The SAPM said a heavy amount was transferred in the account of Hamza Shehbaz through 23 TTs and Rs1.5bn was transferred in the account of Salman Shahbaz through same way.

He said there were a total of 1,103 prisoners in Punjab who were much older in age than Shehbaz Sharif, adding that the PML leader’s plea for his release on the ground of being a senior citizen was against the spirit of Supreme Court decision in such a case of elderly prisoners, besides being discrimination against elderly prisoners.

He said there were serious cases against Shehbaz Sharif of looting national wealth by the Sharif family in 1990 and from 2008 to 2018 with solid evidence.

About the sugar scam, the SAPM said the opposition was earlier making political point scoring against the government through baseless allegations about inaction against PTI leader Jahangir Tareen.

He said the tax revenue had increased by 100 per cent following the sugar commission’s report.

Later, PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb said two judges of the LHC had announced grant of bail to Shahbaz Sharif, and asked who had given authority to Shahbaz Gill to interpret the judges of the high court.

She also expressed dissatisfaction that despite passage of four days to the judgement, written orders of the court regarding bail of Shehbaz Sharif had not been issued yet.

The PML-N leader also criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for what she called “failed economic policies of the government” leading to frequent change of finance minister. “Now Shaukat Tarin, who was finance minister in the Pakistan Peoples Party finance government, has been picked for the job. Is there no one in the PTI to do this job,” she said.

Only in the last week prices (of essential commodities) increased by 19 per cent,” she claimed and added that the price hike crisis would be over only when the prime minister would be replaced.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2021

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