Lahore : The Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Maryam Aurangzeb Thursday said PTI chief Imran Khan is a power hungry and striving to grab power by all means.
In an interview to a private television channel, the state minister said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was a great leader of not only Pakistan but the entire region who strengthened the country besides gifting it with CPEC, a game changing mega-economic initiative.
The minister observed that some forces, in connivance with some internal elements, were conspiring to sabotage the country’s march towards a process of sustained economic growth. She said all the surveys, recent elections and the latest polls by Economic Intelligence Unit corroborated the popularity of the prime minister as well as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Marriyum said due to disruption in the democratic process, it took a long period of time for democracy to take roots in the country, for which sacrifices were made. The MOS remarked that for further strengthening of democracy it was imperative for the democratic governments to complete their mandated period.
To a question, the minister said Joint Investigation Team probing Panama Papers case had become controversial ever since its inception due to a number of bizarre happenings including leakage of Hussain Nawaz’s picture and the treatment meted out to Tariq Shafi. She said the SC needed to exercise more vigilance as the JIT members might not be able to deliver or they might have biased attitude as they were bound to satisfy all parties and address their reservations. Therefore, the SC should take notice of these issues, she added.
The state minister said the issue had started with the allegations of money laundering by PTI without furnishing any concrete evidence and the party was now creating hue and cry over salute by a lady police officer to Maryam Nawaz.
The minister said the ICIJ had issued a disclaimer saying that offshore companies had nothing to do with corruption but contrary to that the opposition was trying to rub in the notion of corruption and using it to gain political power. She questioned as to how Imran Khan could call for anyone’s accountability while he himself had failed to defend his case of foreign finding before the Election Commission where his counsel had been and continued to challenge the maintainability of the petition.
She said soon after revelation of Panama Papers, the prime minister wrote to Supreme Court to form a Judicial commission and during hearing of the case by the apex court, the Sharif family produced all available relevant record.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the prime minister did not opt to take legal cover because he wanted to set a precedent that nobody enjoyed immunity from accountability. The prime minister and all other family members whose names had not even been mentioned in Panama Papers appeared before the JIT despite all their reservations just to show their respect for the rule of law and the public trust.
The state minister said Imran Khan was such a so-called leader who had no know-how of politics and gave protest calls during his workout. She categorically made it clear that anyone having ambitions to reach the corridors of power through backdoor or by raising of a finger by the umpire must be clear in his mind that change could only come through the ballot. She said the PML-N never desired to indulge in personal issues,
however Ishaq Dar was very much aware of Imran Khan’s machinations and secrets and he would get befitting response to all his allegations.
The state minister reiterated that Imran Khan was an absconder from the ECP as well as the Anti-terrorism Court. She said the PML-N never wanted to intimidate the JIT rather Nawaz Sharif, the three-times prime minister and twice-elected chief minister just wanted to get his name cleared of all the baseless allegations against him.
Marriyum said no one had ever produced any evidence of corruption or kickbacks from any project during all the tenures of Prime Minister Sharif but he also responded to the allegations regarding his private businesses.
Responding to a question, the state minister said that the statements by Asif Zardari reflected his frustration as his party was marred by massive corruption during its previous five-year tenure.
The minister however expressed the confidence that the PPP did not desire destabilization of the democratic process and wanted the system to continue. She said the completion of current government’s five-year term would further consolidate the concept that democracy always delivered.