LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif warned that the nation would soon hold accountable (Prime Minister) Imran (Khan) Niazi for every crime and misdeed he had committed.
He was addressing a press conference along with former speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal and party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, here on Thursday. Terming the arrest of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other PML-N leaders the worst kind of political victimisation in the name of accountability, he said: “The deal will cost Niazi dearly.”
Claiming an alleged link between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he regretted that NAB-Niazi collusion had been staging a show across the country currently. He asked the government and NAB authorities why he had been arrested in the Ashiana housing and drain construction cases if there were any proofs of corruption of Earthquak Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) funds. He rejected the accusations thatthe then Erra chairman, Ikram Naveed, laundered money for his family.
Shahbaz said Erra was a federal institution, adding he had removed Naveed from his post over corruption charges in 2011. He said he would redeem the honour of the country in the UK courts which was destroyed by Imran Khan Niazi. Shahbaz alleged that PM Imran had destroyed country's economy in the past 11 months and arrests of the PML-N leaders were eyewash to distract the nation’s attention from the poor governance and economic devastation.
"Imran Niazi has completely failed as the prime minister and he has not been able to do anything for the country. He is full of anger and revenge for his opponents; he’s highly arrogant and a selected prime minister. He has lost his sleep due to his revengeful nature, and he wanted to destroy everything," Shahbaz alleged.
He said rupee devaluation had led to a flood of price-hike in the country, but instead of healing the wounds of masses, the prime minister is busy in defaming the country’s leaders and people as “corrupt and tax-evaders” all over the world. Shahbaz lamented that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested in a rough manner as the NAB team tried to take him away without showing necessary arrest documents. He said Abbasi was former prime minister and federal minister, but was refused view of proper arrest warrants when stopped at the toll plaza while entering Lahore.
Shahbaz said NAB officials kept looking at each other when asked to show arrest warrants.Upon insistence, NAB DG came himself and showed a WhatsApp message. When Khaqan asked for a warrant, signed by the NAB chairman, then they produced a photocopy of that, he said. Shahbaz, who is also facing several cases by NAB, asked, “Is this called accountability.” He added: “This is the worst kind of revenge against political rivals in the cover of accountability. If there is accountability in the country, it is nowhere to be seen.
” Shahbaz said Khaqan played a central role in ensuring that power generated from LNG plants in Haveli Bahadur Shah, Bhikki and Balloki was supplied to Karachi. He added that serving the nation selflessly, Abbasi’s crimes included supporting Nawaz Sharif against victimisation. He expressed sorrow that the opposition had to bear the brunt of PTI government's incapability and incompetence, adding that majority of detainees in NAB jails were the PML-N leaders.
Shahbaz said he wanted to tell NAB chairman that it was not the first time the PML-N leadership was being victimised like that. “Everybody knew how we were victimised during Musharraf era, forced into exile. Musharraf turned our house into an old people's house. But we are still alive, we will remain here and continue to serve people," he added. Shahbaz again rejected the allegations against him by a report of Daily Mail (UK) of embezzling funds provided by Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) for 2005 earthquake victims.
He claimed The Mail report was published on the behest of Imran Khan. He said "In 2005, when earthquake hit Pakistan, I was in exile in the UK. This is such a disgusting allegation that I stole money from a fund for earthquake victims and gave it to my children. If I was guilty in this charge, why did you have to arrest me in Ashiana and Ramzan Sugar Mills case? You could have arrested me in this one." He said "DFID gave 500 million pounds over the 10 years when I was Punjab's chief minister. Ask me about its spending, but they have not talked about that."