Govt blaming opposition for hiding its corruption: PPP

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sunday said the government was blaming opposition for hiding its own corruption and it has helped the main culprit in the sugar crisis probe flee the country.

It said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is a divisive force in the country and the federal government policy to handle the COVID-19 was only based on confusion and incapability.

“The number of Covid-19 patients has reached over a hundred thousand and over 2,000 people have lost their lives but the prime minister is totally insensitive towards the pandemic and it is ironic that he refuses to wear mask, but asks people to take precautions,” said central leaders of the PPP Dr Nafeesa Shah, Senator Rubina Khalid and Nazir Dhoki while addressing a press conference here Sunday.

Dr Nafeesa Shah said a number of cases have more than doubled just in 10 days since the lockdown was relaxed on the orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The prime minister is not only prime minister of Nathiagali but the whole Pakistan and should take everyone along with him after devising a unanimous policy,” she said.

The PPP leader said Shahzad Akbar has no legal authority to deal with accountability issues as the NAB is supposed to be a free institution and the courts should take notice of his gibberish about accountability. “The price hike is all time high and inflation has touched 15 percent in the country,” she said.

The PPP leader said that the COVID-19 package has not been brought before the Parliament. She asked on what kind of visa has been issued to Cynthia D Richie who has labelled serious allegations against the PPP leadership.

“Who is financing and supporting her. Cynthia D Richie is a member of PTI social media team,” she alleged. She said the sugar commission report is meaningless as the main culprit has already fled the country. “The main culprit and beneficiary of sugar scandal is prime minister himself,” she alleged.

She said Jehangir Tareen, whose name was in the Sugar Commission Report, has left the country. Meanwhile, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of former president Asif Ali Zardari, questioned the accountability process as Jehangir Tareen has reached London despite his name in the sugar commission report.

Bakhtawar tweeted that her father was placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) during the elections after a media scandal broke and has been on it ever since. “My brother was placed on ECL just for making a speech,” she tweeted.

“When it comes to real accountability – This is the other side,” she said. Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal has claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is set to slash Rs600 billion from the development budget, which will bring devastation to the nation.

Talking to the media here on Sunday, he said how come the country’s industry would function when the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) would be cut down to Rs1,400 billion from Rs2,000 billion.

He said the PML-N would oppose the step with all its strength in the parliament and would not allow the government to devastate the nation’s future. He said due to the incompetence of the regime, the future of millions of youth and the nation at large was being dumped down a bottomless pit.

Ahsan said it was a matter of great pride for the PML-N that it gave record high development and defence budgets to Pakistan. He said the Pakistani youth had constitutional right to standard education. He stressed that there was need to strengthen the healthcare system to deal with the current and future pandemics.

The former minister for planning said the Sugar Inquiry Commission was not about subsidy. It was to figure out how and why sugar prices hiked up to Rs90 from Rs52. Imran Niazi must tell the nation, the names of the robbers he facilitated. Who were these people who looted Rs300 billion from people on Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar’s behest, he asked.

The people of Pakistan have figured out the game plan of loading PTI’s ATMs by robbing public money and they now know that the government is the most corrupt administration ever in the history of Pakistan, he said.

Ahsan said the person who filled his pockets through illegal import of medicines from India, has been appointed his party’s secretary general by Imran Niazi. “Imran Khan is the biggest avenue of patronage of the corrupt in Pakistan, but neither NAB nor any investigation and accountability institution can question his massive corruption-laden actions. If the PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif can present himself for accountability while he was the prime minister, why can’t Imran Niazi do the same,” he questioned.

He said coronavirus deaths were surging in Pakistan because Imran did not take the advice of doctors seriously and drove the country “straight into the jaws of the pandemic”. Now, Pakistan is worse of than Italy which was considered the worst-hit country by Covid-19 in the entire world, he claimed.

PML-N Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said it is a mockery of accountability and justice that Prime Minister Imran Khan despite being the ‘prime criminal’ has taken the sugar corruption inquiry under the ‘NAB-Niazi jurisdiction’ after helping the prime accused escape to the UK.

Reacting to the press conference by Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraz and PM’s Adviser on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, Marriyum said the rented government’s spokespersons again forgot to tell the nation the date of arrest of Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar, who had been proven beyond doubt the chief criminals of robbing people through the sugar scandal which continues to this day. The former information minister said after benefiting and loading his ATMs to the hilt with sugar corruption and giving them a safe passage out of the country, Imran and his cronies are touting about justice and accountability. Marriyum said Imran built his Zaman Park house from the sugar corruption money.

There is no denying the fact that Imran is the person who approved this robbery of public money through sugar scandal and is solely responsible for this mega crime. This corrupt government cannot now shout about accountability after pulling off the biggest sugar heist on the nation.

She demanded Imran and Buzdar must present themselves to the nation to be held accountable for their crimes. “Imran needs to answer the nation why did he order export of sugar amid domestic shortage? Why were exporters given subsidy despite massive devaluation of the rupee? Why are people of Pakistan paying Rs90 per kg for sugar that is originally Rs 52/ kg?” she questioned.

Marriyum reiterated that PTI government is claiming false moral high ground over making the report public as it was mandatory to do so under the legislation passed by the former PML-N government. She said former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has already challenged that parallel inquiries on provision of subsidy be held against him and Imran for exposing the real culprit.

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