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We were blackmailed to accept Shehbaz as PAC chairman: information minister

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 14, 2018 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 14, 2018 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
We were blackmailed to accept Shehbaz as PAC chairman: information minister

The PML-N wants an NRO, he says

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has claimed that the government was blackmailed to accept Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in the NA, as the Public Accounts Committee chairman.

“We made Shehbaz Sharif PAC chairman because the parliament was non-functional,” Chaudhry said Friday.

During the National Assembly session on Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi offered Shehbaz the post and he accepted, albeit in a roundabout manner. But amid their gracious offers and acceptances, barbs were traded.

Related: Everyone is fine with Shehbaz becoming PAC head, so what’s the issue?

Qureshi said if the opposition leader wants to be the head of the PAC then they have no problems with it. We will not create hurdles in his way, said the minister, adding that the offer was being made in the interest of democracy. However, he said that it wouldn’t be appropriate for Shehbaz to oversee his own cases. Shehbaz graciously accepted the post, pointedly remarking that the role was the leader of the opposition’s so there was no need to offer it.

‘Being pressurized for NRO’

“The PML-N is bashing the government because they want to pressure us for an NRO,” said Fawad Chaudhry.

The National Reconciliation Ordinance was issued in October 2007 by former military dictator Pervez Musharraf as a result of a deal with the political leadership. The politicians, political workers and bureaucrats were granted amnesty under the NRO.

Related story: Did the Sharif family approach the PTI govt for an NRO?

It is said that the NRO was introduced to pave the way for Benazir Bhutto’s return in 2007.

The minister said that his government wants to give relief to the people and it would not offer anything to the corrupt individual. There was no gas crisis in Pakistan when the PML-N govt came in 2013 when the government Pakistan’s gas sector was under a massive debt, he said.

“They have ruined every institution,” he said. “We are making a new Pakistan because the previous government left nothing.”

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