LAHORE: Moonis Elahi, a PML-Q leader and former federal minister, has described as a “pressure tactic” a series of media reports suggesting that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided to launch a money-laundering probe against him.

A number of TV channels claimed in a report on Sunday that the FIA had obtained “sufficient evidence” to launch a money-laundering case against Moonis Elahi, but it could not be independently verified from the investigation agency FIA and even the PML-N leadership.

Mr Elahi himself posted a screen grab of the TV report and wrote “Bismillahir Rahman Arraheem”, asserting that he was ready to face any probe.

In another tweet, the PML-Q leader said: “The PML-N’s pressure tactics will not be able to withdraw PML-Q’s support to former prime minister Imran Khan. The PML-N is at a loss to understand that it can pressure me to change my loyalty towards former premier and PTI chairman Imran Khan.”

Speaking to Dawn, Moonis Elahi said the PML-N was in the “habit of instituting false and baseless cases” against his family.

Any such case would be seen as politically motivated and aimed at victimising him, he added. “All my business transactions are documented and lawful.”

Mr Elahi said a message had been conveyed to him that he could make amends for his mistake by coming back. “Upon my refusal to withdraw support to Imran Khan, they have started putting pressure on me,” he added.

He accused the Punjab government of mounting pressure on its opponents in the build-up to the budget session.

In reply to a question, he said he was not aware of the allegations made by the FIA, but added that there was nothing new in “false cases against my family”.

“I shall stick to my point of view without any fear.”

Blame game

Ever since Mr Elahi chose to stand by ousted prime minister Imran Khan, the blame game between the PML-Q (Elahi group) and PML-N has gathered steam.

Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had claimed recently that Moonis Elahi, who was a part of the Imran Khan cabinet, had thwarted a deal between the PML-Q and PML-N since he wanted his family to support Imran Khan.

Even Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had said he wanted to see Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi as chief minister, but things didn’t work out.

While Parvez Elahi chose to side with the PTI by rejecting the Sharif brothers’ offer for the chief minister’s slot, his cousin Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain preferred to embrace the PML-N. The Shehbaz government then inducted the PML-Q president’s son, Salik Hussain, in the cabinet.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2022

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